If you’ve ever tried applying for a job, then you probably already know the basics. Of course, you’re going to have to prepare your requirements for the application which would include making a resume and writing an application letter. However, there is one other thing that most employers ask of their applicants, and that is a reference letter. Unlike the rest of your application requirements, you are not going to be the one who will create this one.
A reference letter is also going to provide information about you but it will be from the perspective of an outside source. Which means that you will have no control over what it will contain. A reference letter will mostly include information about how you are as an employee or as a student, your professional attitude, abilities and talents you can contribute to the company and to society, and your work ethics.
But reference letters may also touch on more personal qualities such as your achievements or simply a general view of your character as a person.
You might need a reference letter for a lot of reasons but the most common ones are the following:
1. Obtaining a new job. Some employers may ask for reference letters from their candidates to further review his working background. There are certain cases wherein the employer will specifically ask for a reference letter directly from his previous workplace, which is why one must always maintain good professional relationships with everyone he works with. You may also see employee reference letter samples.
2. To obtain a promotion. If you’re applying for a promotion, you probably already have a sweet word background and outstanding performance or else you wouldn’t qualify even for sample application. However, a reference letter will serve as a cherry on top of your already beautiful cake. With kind and graceful words from people of esteemed positions, convincing your employers of your worthiness for the promotion will be a piece of cake.
3. For academic purposes. You’re probably familiar with the tedious requirements that Ivy League schools and community colleges require of their applicants. Well, one of these requirements is a reference letter preferably from a teacher or someone as revered. You may also like character reference letter examples.
4. Obtain a loan from a bank. The reference letter is going to assure them that you are of a trustworthy character. It can help the bank or a credit union to allow you to borrow money, especially if it is a considerable amount. Unfortunately, no one takes anyone’s word anymore. You may also check out reference letter for employment examples.
5. Serve a high position at school or in a community. A reference letter will work similar to when you are applying for a promotion. It will convince everyone of your worthiness for the position.
6. For volunteer work. Although volunteering is a charitable activity, the people who manage it still need to make sure that their volunteers are both reliable and truthful. They can’t simply let anyone, who may or may not have ulterior motives, take advantage of the job especially when it concerns the elderly and children. You might be interested in reference letter from a previous employer examples.
No one would ask you for a reference letter just because they feel like it. Of course these things, no matter how burdensome they are to you, actually play specific roles:
This is the main role of reference letters and exactly why people keep asking you for it: because they endorse you. They help the receiver of it get to know you through the perspective of someone else.
Plus, simple reference letters are usually written by people you had a chance to work with, which means that if anyone is most eligible to comment on your work performance, it’s them. And if your future employers like what they read on your reference letter, it’s a good omen for you.
In the case of a reference letter for employment, it will serve as an assurance to your future employer that you left your previous workplace in good terms with everyone in it, and that you actually contributed something helpful to them. A reference letter, to make it more effective, may also contain a short background on the writer of it to guarantee your future employer that the reference letter is certified and honest. You may also see verification letter examples.
The reference letter will, of course, contain your strongest assets and skills. So through it, the reader of your reference letter will know if you may actually contribute something to the company. It will also work best if you tell the writer of your reference letter what position you are applying for so that he can highlight your achievements and skills that are directly related to the job. You may also like recommendation letter examples.
You may also tell the writer of your reference letter to be specific about the things he knows about your work performance based on the time he has worked with you. These things may include the length of time you have worked in the company, your awards, and other notable credentials. You may also check out student recommendation letter examples.
Aside from your qualifications, your personal qualities are one of the most important things that your reference letter may contain. It will specify your endearing qualities that can make you perfect for the job. For example, you are applying for a managerial position.
If your reference letter states that you have impressive leadership skills, your employer may be more convinced to hire you. If you are applying for a writing job, it would help if your reference letter mentions that you are open-minded and imaginative. Character can make the difference between you being accepted and you being rejected. You might be interested in complaint letter examples & samples.
There are no specific rules about how you should construct a reference letter if ever you need to make one, or you need someone to make one for you. However, to ease the confusion that may come along as you make a reference letter, here is a step-by-step guide to help you.
Every formal letter needs one. Of course this is because, as common courtesy tells us, you need to express your regards to the person you are talking to, even if it is only through a written correspondence, before you proceed to the order of business you want to discuss.
As the writer of the reference letter, your first paragraph should explain how you are related or connected to the person you are writing about. This is important because it can establish your credibility as the writer of the reference letter. Your first paragraph should also contain how you met the person, how long you have known each other, and reason why you are considered qualified to write a reference letter. You may also see letter of verification examples.
The second paragraph will now speak about the person you are writing the reference letter for. In this paragraph, you will have to discuss reasons why the person is qualified for the position. You will be required to mention every quality that makes the candidate a good investment. In other words, in the second paragraph, you will have to sell the candidate to his future employer. You may also like business proposal letter examples.
A summary is simply a short couple of sentences that will encapsulate the good points of the person you are trying to endorse. You can also say things like, “I recommend the person without any reservation,” or, “The person is highly eligible for the position.”
A common message expressed in the conclusion is the willingness to provide more information if necessary. You can also include your personal contact information so that the recipient of the reference letter will not have a difficult time in trying to reach you. Also, this can show that you are sincere about being willing to share more about the candidate if the information already provided is not enough. You may also check out acknowledgement letter examples.
As with how all letters end, a signature should be at the end of your reference letter. Aside from signing it, you may also include your job title or position underneath your complete name to give integrity to the document.
Probably the most important and most useful advice you can learn from this article is that you must think hard before you agree to write a reference letter for someone. There are a lot of things you must consider before you accept. First of all, do you really know this person, preferably on a more personal level? If not, then maybe you are not in the right place to recommend that person since you don’t know him very much either. You may also see employee verification letter examples.
A good factor to consider as well is the character of the person. If you do know the person, do you honestly think he’s qualified for the job or are you just going to sugarcoat every compliment you’re going to pay him on the reference letter? When you choose to write about the credentials of a person, make sure you don’t have to lie to make him look good. You may also like how to write an official letter.
Saying things that will soon be proven to be untrue about a person will be bad for your image.
You are recommending a person for a job. That is a big deal. You are basically telling an employer, in a nicer, more professional way, to waste money on that person because he’ll do well. And if he doesn’t, the employer and the company will think that you lied to them. Creating your good public image took time and effort. Don’t ruin it by recommending someone you don’t really think is qualified. You may also check out job appointment letter examples.
You are not under any obligation to write a reference letter for anyone, and saying no to someone is actually more beneficial for you and the person in the long run.
But when you do decide to write a reference letter, make sure to be in strict adherence of the business format in letter writing. You must also observe proper decorum that comes with writing a letter. You want to show the recipients of the reference letter that you are qualified to recommend someone and observing proper grammar, punctuation, and letter writing guidelines can help you in this task.
You must also be very specific about the information you provide about a person. Saying vague things like, “The person is a wonderful presence in the office,” or, “He is very nice to everyone,” will not help you make a point.
In fact, it can even create the impression that you don’t know the person very well since you are not being particular with details. Instead of saying those things, why not try saying:
“He is a quiet person who prefers working by himself, but he provides quality outputs and does his jobs very well. He is very reliable in the office and, despite having the tendency of being somewhat reserved, can work with groups just as effectively.” You might be interested in employment verification letter examples.
This description will give the recipient of your professional letter a better, clearer picture of the person you are describing. It also shows that you really know him very well since you can provide a specific description of him and his attitude especially when relating to his workmates. Examples of scenarios will also be very helpful in making you state your point.
You must also not waver from being positive in your letter’s content. Don’t forget that your professional goal is to recommend the person for the job so the details you include must help you achieve that purpose. However, being positive doesn’t mean that you should not include negative things about the person. You can. As long as it won’t hurt the good image you are trying to create for the person.
Similar to the example earlier, we have mentioned that the candidate is a quiet person who has a tendency to be reserved.
For some employers, this is a massive red flag especially for job positions where socialization is a big part of the job requirement. But through that, you have mentioned the versatility of the person. That even if he is quiet by nature, he has no problem with collaborating with his workmates. So you’ve turned the red flag into an admirable trait. You may also like termination letter examples.
Being positive doesn’t mean that you’re covering the negative about the person, and recommending someone doesn’t require you to lie. There is a safe place between those things and that is exactly where you want your place to be when you write a formal reference letter for someone.