Tips For Writing Reference Letters



Tips For Writing Reference Letters :




  1. When writing a reference letter you should not include any negative remarks / criticism or defamatory comments about the person for whom you are writing reference as this could constitute libel. If you have nothing good to say about a person it is better to simply decline to write a reference letter or say nothing at all.


  2. Everyone has at least one or two good qualities. While writing reference mention those qualities.


  3. If your company has systems / policies for managers or senior executives to write reference letters for employees or ex-employees, follow the procedure adopted by the company. Most such companies for instance require reference letters to be approved by HR department.


  4. If you need a reference from your employer it sometimes helps to drafts one yourself for your manager or HR department. Many managers do not have the time or are unsure about what to write. So ask if a draft reference letter would be helpful.


  5. If the addressee is not known or the reference letter is required for general purposes, use TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN instead of DEAR SIR or MADAM. Obviously if the addressee is known, use the full name and address and this will increase the professionalism and thereby the credibility of the letter.


  6. Character reference letters should always be dated and should be to the point.


  7. The overall quality of the reference letter reflect directly on the person that the letter refers to. Ensure you are acting within your authority if you are witting on behalf of an organization ausing the offical letterhead. If, as a manager you wish to give a reference but are not permitted to do so by your organisation which would be very unusual, you might consider providing one in a personal capacity on your own private letterhead.


  8. For all requests for writing reference letters, remember the maxim, “if you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything”. The extent to which you praise the person in a reference letter depends on your won personal feelings, if you want to help the person a lot then do so well-written, positive, reference letters can be very helpful indeed.





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