A good reference letter can help you open doors of opportunities. Otherwise known as “letter of recommendation”, or “recommendation letter”, it is also known as “reference”, or letter of reference. It is usually written by someone who has had a reasonable relationship with the person who the letter is about. And should be written to help the candidate get a job, gain an admission, or enable them get a lease. It is usually better to have someone who is a superior, or was your superior write the reference letter.
I will be providing several sample reference letters to enhance your understanding of this topic. But first, let us understand the general structure of these letters.
Character Reference Letters
This is different from work reference letters, and are rarely required by employers, but when they’re requested, they can be the difference between you getting the job or not, irrespective of the quality of your CV. They’re usually required for jobs that require strict ethics, and high level of trustworthiness.
Who Should Help You Write A Character Reference Letter?
Getting the right person is quite tricky, you must be able to strike a delicate balance between, “close enough” but, “not too close”. Having someone who knows you reasonably well is the key. But having a friend or family member write your character reference letter can raise suspicion. Someone like a teacher or mentor is better qualified to help you out. Be careful though, and ensure that the reference is free of negatives. This may end your prospect for such a job.
Sample of Character Reference Letter
What it should contain
In cases where the employer doesn’t provide a character reference request form, you may want to ensure that whoever writes your character reference, includes all the necessary information that’s important to employers. Including:
- How much and how well they know you
- How long they’ve known you (candidate) for
- An honest description of your character
- How your (candidate’s) character suits the role to which you applied
- The writer’s contact details
Job Application Reference Letters
These letters are written for the purpose of getting an employment, for individuals, or a contract, in the case of a company or organization. They’re usually written to assess and analyze the character, capabilities, and qualities of the person or organization being written about. This is to enable an employer determine how suitable they are for the job or contract being applied for. And because they are most often requested by a particular employer, they are therefore usually, specifically written and addressed to such employer.
Sample of Job Application Reference Letter
Tips For Writing A Good Application Reference Letter
- The format is usually business format. And should contain the candidate’s name, address, and that of the employer
- One or two brief lines about the person writing the letter, their position and relationship with the referee, usually in the first few lines.
- Next is to confirm the authenticity of the information that the writer knows the candidate will be supplying alongside the letter of reference. This may include
- how long the candidate was employed for
- the position(s) they occupied within the company, and
- their leaving salary
- The next paragraph is to highlight the candidate’s special qualities, plus the memorable contributions they made during the period under review. It makes much sense to include whether or not the writer might re employ the candidate
- It is specifically helpful to highlight the major feats accomplished by the candidate. Let the referee make inputs into this paragraph, to highlight any other activities and extracurricular activities they would like included.
- Finally round-off on a positive note, and state that you (the writer) would be happy to answer further questions or correspondence.
Then end appropriately, either with a “Yours sincerely” or “Yours Faithfully.”
Students Reference Letter
This is usually required as part of school admissions processes. There are a few variations of students’ reference letters. There’s the type required for undergraduate studies, and another variant for post graduate programs. Sample reference letters of this type are generally structured as follows:
- State how long and how well you know the student, the courses he took under you or the tasks he performed as your employee
- Share instances when the candidate demonstrated outstanding abilities
- Be positive and avoid vague cliches like “hard worker”, or “diligent student”. Always back up your assertions with specific instances
- Finally, provide your contact information for possible correspondence.
Sample of Student Reference Letter
Sample of Nursing Student Reference Letter
Sample of Medical Student Reference Letter
Lease Reference Letter
This should strictly be written about the tenancy period, and the obligations fulfilled by the referee. It should be devoid of personal feelings and relationships. The following tips should be enough to get you started.
Apart from the date when it is written, the letter should contain:
- The name of the tenant, address of the property, period of tenancy, and the period in reference
- Issues concerning the tenancy agreement, like how promptly rents were paid, how any default was resolved (if any). Mention should also be made of how well the property was maintained.
- Share issues of tenant/landlord relationship, and the tenants relationship with other tenants. And include as the writer, your response to if you would rent to the tenant again.
- Lastly, round-off by including the writer’s contact information and the willingness to entertain further inquiries or correspondence.
Sample of Lease Reference Letter
Lease Reference Letter Format
Lease Reference Letter Example
Further clarity is provided with numerous sample reference letters.