A reference letter is sometimes known as letter of recommendation also. It is a form of formal letter in which a person appraises another person’s skills and capabilities in an attempt to recommend them for a job, university admission or scholarship application. In the course of writing this letter, it is advisable that the referee is honest with the positive descriptions that he/she states in the letter. The person writing your reference letter must be very close to you and must be someone you have known for years. same goes for recommendation letters. This letter is written like every other formal letter. So, we would outline how you should go about writing a reference letter for someone.

The basic structure of a reference letter goes thus:

Address: Like every other formal letter, you should include your address and the recipient’s address. Also, don’t forget to include the date beneath your own address.

Salutation:  You should include the normal salutation – ‘Dear Sir,’ or ‘Dear Ma,’ or better still, you could use ‘To whom it may concern,’

Title: The title of this kind of letter should reflect what the whole letter is about. You could have a title like “LETTER OF REFERENCE” or “LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION”.

Introduction: This could be segmented into one or two paragraphs. In this part, you should state who you are recommending, what you are recommending them for. This could be established in the first paragraph. The second paragraph for the introduction could include your relationship with the person, how you met them and how long you have known the person.

Body: In this segment, you should provide important information about who you are recommending: you should provide an overview of the person’s skills and abilities as related to what he/she is applying for. Then you give why he/she is most suitable. State how the person had contributed immensely to something related to what she’s applying for.

Conclusion: In this part of the letter, restate that you recommend the person for a particular post or sponsorship or scholarship. Also, state that you would gladly provide more information if need be and provide how the organisation can contact you. Thank the recipient for his/her time spared for reading the letter.

Complimentary Close: Use the normal complimentary close for formal letters. This is followed by your signature and then your full name.


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