How to Write a Reference Letter

Learn How to Write a Reference Letter

Writing a reference letter is something most will do on a least one occasion. Whether the letter is for a student looking to get into an educational institution, a former employee looking for a new opportunity, or a family member or friend in need of words of encouragement, these letters can sometimes be the difference for those you are trying to help. When thinking about how to write a reference letter, there are certain aspects that must not be overlooked.

Below, you will find more information about how to write a reference letter, some helpful letter of reference tips, as well as reference letter templates to help make the process easier.

How to Write a Reference Letter: Helpful Tips

First and foremost, when contemplating how to write a reference letter it’s critically important to remember how much weight your words hold. Educators or future employers will place stock in the letter and rely on you for honest, accurate information. Often times, a potential student or employee will not gain admittance or employment without a letter of recommendation. Keep this in mind as you pen your letter.

The next step in learning about how to write a reference letter is to keep things professional. In all likelihood, you yourself are a professional. Speaking to another professional in a respectful way will only increase the positive prospects for the applicant. Keeping this in mind, avoid fluff or empty words when describing the positive aspects and attributes of the applicant.

Another important aspect of learning how to write a reference letter is remembering to include your current contact information. There are times when more information may be required and you should be more than happy to provide it if necessary. Make sure the lines of communication are open. Failing to do so leaves open the possibility that the letter could be dismissed as fraudulent and could have a serious impact on the candidate.

Other things to avoid when thinking about how to write a reference letter include sloppiness and spelling errors, inappropriate personal information about the candidate, as well as information about the candidate regarding weaknesses.

How to Write a Reference Letter: Templates Make It Easy

While writing a letter of reference isn’t as difficult a task as most may think, you can make the job even easier by using a reference letter template. Microsoft has created ready-made reference letter templates that are available for free right here on They are instantly downloadable and available at no charge.

With these templates, you can just plug in your information because most of the heavy work is done for you. The reference letter templates are just some of the hundreds of helpful templates and spreadsheets designed to make your life a little easier.

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