How Do You Write a Reference Letter?


Quick Answer

Compose a reference letter by writing a paragraph showing your connection to the candidate, a paragraph sharing information about the candidate's abilities and a final paragraph connecting the candidate's abilities to the position for which he or she is applying. If necessary, request further information from the subject to help with the process.

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Full Answer

  1. Request information

    Ask the candidate about the position for which they are applying and their related skills. Request a copy of their resume or a similar list of accomplishments and a copy of the job posting to help with the writing process.

  2. Write a paragraph about your connection to the candidate

    Begin the letter by describing how you know the candidate and the length of your relationship. If applicable, include any qualifications that you have that make you particularly able to evaluate the candidate.

  3. Add a section about the candidate's abilities

    Include skills and aptitudes that show the candidate's ability to contribute in the position for which they are applying. Share specific examples of situations in which you observed positive traits. Add additional paragraphs to this section if necessary.

  4. Connect the candidate's skills to the position

    Finish the letter with a paragraph describing the candidate's specific qualifications for the particular position. Connect the candidate's abilities directly to the list of job requirements from the job posting.

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