When writing a reference letter, writers should use a professional business format that includes a salutation to the recipient and provide an overview of the relationship or tie to the candidate. A reference letter should include the candidate's job experience, reasons for the recommendation and positive qualities and skills.
A reference letter should include the writer's opinion of the applicant's personality qualities and skills. The recommendation may also include details about the candidate's job duties, nature of volunteer work, ability to work with teams or performance in an academic setting. Soft skills such as attention to detail, ability to lead, enthusiasm and positive nature help to illustrate why the candidate is a good fit for the job or educational opportunity.
Writers should also provide specific examples of the candidate's performance on the job or at an educational institution when writing a reference letter. Noteworthy performance on academic assignments should be detailed as well as goals met in a professional position or extracurricular achievements and recognition. A reference letters can also detail how applicants overcome challenges, handle conflict, lead team members and serve as an example in the community.
The writer should close the reference letter by thanking the recipient and providing contact information in case additional information is desired.