Free Reference Letter Template & Examples

Best Reference Letter Template & Examples

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Reference Letter

Reference Letter Sample Details

Recipient's name: [name of person receiving the letter]
Writer's name: [name of writer]
Writer's relationship to subject: [relationship between writer and subject]
Subject's character, skills, and accomplishments: [subject's character, skills, and accomplishments]
Position that subject is applying for: [position that subject is applying for]


Greet the reader
Introduce yourself and your relationship to the person you're writing about
Describe the person's character, skills, and accomplishments
Explain why they would be a good fit for this position
Sign off in a formal tone

Reference Letter

Reference Letter Free Reference Letter Template & ExamplesA reference letter is a powerful tool to help someone stand out amongst the competition when applying for their next job or school program.

A well-prepared and thoughtful reference letter can go a long way in helping an individual get accepted into their desired position or program.

This article will discuss the importance of a strong reference letter and provide tips on how to make one that effectively showcases your strengths.

What Is A Reference Letter

A reference letter is an important document used to provide positive or neutral details about a person's character and abilities.

It can help them obtain employment or other opportunities, often written by past employers, teachers, friends and family members.

Reference letters are incredibly helpful resources that give hiring managers insight into candidates beyond normal resume processes via third party perspectives.

They offer employees & employers peace of mind knowing any future recommendations come only from qualified individuals which helps alleviate difficulties finding perfect fits for positions.

Who Should Write A Reference Letter

Who Should Write A Reference Letter Free Reference Letter Template & ExamplesReference Letter

A reference letter is a document that provides an objective assessment of someone's skills and qualifications for employment, education, or other opportunities.


Employers should be considered first when writing this type of letter.

They can provide insight into how their employee met job obligations, such as team collaboration and communication, as well as individual projects.


Teachers/mentors from higher education programs are also useful for providing details about practical skill sets often applied by students under their supervision.

Family Members & Relatives

Family members and supportive relatives add proof of credentials authenticity.

Background Checking Companies

Background checking companies increase hireability expectations with recommendation clauses offering added assurance that recruits will excel.

A reference letter is an important document that can help someone get the job or opportunity they desire.

When Is The Right Time To Ask For A Reference Letter

When Is The Right Time To Ask For A Reference Letter Free Reference Letter Template & ExamplesReferences

Strong references are essential when looking for a new job.

Knowing when to ask someone for a reference letter can be tricky.

Current Manager

If your current manager isn't available (e.g., they left the company), colleagues or past supervisors may provide an excellent sample of your skills and character.

Ask them no earlier than two weeks before submitting applications so you don’t create awkwardness if those apps fail.

Older Contacts

For older contacts like college professors or volunteer coordinators, give 3+ months' notice since they'll need time to compose high-quality pieces about their experience with you – plus it gives yourself enough time to put together details from former employers!

Recent Coworkers

Aim for 2-3 weeks’ notice when approaching recent coworkers; 3+ months ahead when requesting longer term relationships.


  • Ensure everyone has relevant info beforehand
  • Allow lead time to gather documents requested by potential referees before agreeing
  • Consider traditional mail might take longer compared sending electronically via email etc
  • Follow up gently after sufficient waiting periods have lapsed in case something got overlooked
Give sufficient notice to ensure high-quality pieces.

How To Write An Effective Reference Letter

Writing an Impactful Reference Letter

Writing a reference letter can be challenging.

An effective one should include evidence to support your opinion of the candidate, clear facts, and persuasive language that speaks directly to the reader.

Here are tips for writing an impactful reference letter:

  • Start by introducing yourself and explaining your relationship with them.
  • Include why you recommend them so readers understand their value.
  • Provide examples of qualities like work ethic or career accomplishments if possible
  • Endorse specific skills in detail while showing how they've contributed positively
  • Use anecdotes instead of proof!
  • Each skill point must have context within a larger story.
Focus on strong closing statements tying all points together into one thought at end-of-letter conclusion.

Application reviews often judge candidates based upon quick impressions; make yours stand out!

Formatting And Layout Considerations

Formatting And Layout Considerations Free Reference Letter Template & ExamplesFormatting and Layout

When writing a Reference Letter, consider the formatting and layout.

To make it look professional:

  • Keep each paragraph concise
  • Include white space between paragraphs
  • Use consistent fonts throughout
  • Adjust font size for headings vs body content to stand out but remain readable

Experiment with fonts until you find one that complements other design elements.

Use varying sizes for different types of information (e.g., Header Titles larger than Body Copy).

Essential Components Of Successful Letters Of Recommendation


Writing a successful letter of recommendation requires essential components.

Start with an introduction outlining the purpose and context for the recipient.

Describe Relationship

Describe how you know them and for what time period, if relevant.

Include Examples

Include specific examples from past experiences or achievements that showcase:

  • Collaboration on projects
  • Dependability
  • Problem-solving skills

Use descriptive language tailored to your applicant's strengths.

This will help set them apart!

Finish off with a strong closing sentiment to leave a lasting impression on readers.

Ways To Strengthen Received Letters Of Recommendation

Strengthen Your Letters of Recommendation

Contact references and ask them how they plan to write about you.

Provide detailed notes on why certain people are recommended and give examples of relevant skills for the position applied for.

Update employer names or project details if needed so that outdated information isn't included with current info from recent recommendations.

Highlight personal qualities through facts by adding documents showing competency gained; back up statistics where necessary to refine the overall piece into a great read prospective prospects find attractive.

Show willingness to invest in furthering your own career path!

Provide Examples

  • Detailed notes on why certain people are recommended
  • Examples of relevant skills for the position applied for
  • Documents showing competency gained
  • Back up statistics where necessary

What should be included in a reference letter?

A reference letter should include the name of the person being recommended, their job or academic position and your relationship with them. It must also contain specific examples that illustrate their abilities and qualifications.

Who can write a good reference letter?

Employers, professors or individuals who have supervised you during volunteer work are some people who can write great recommendation letters.

How do I format my reference letter?

The standard format for a professional-sounding recommendation is to follow the salutation with an opening paragraph introducing yourself as well as establishing your connection to the individual whom you're recommending followed by 2-3 paragraphs outlining qualities about this person including accomplishments.

Asim Akhtar

Asim Akhtar

Asim is the CEO & founder of AtOnce. After 5 years of marketing & customer service experience, he's now using Artificial Intelligence to save people time.