Reference / Referral / Recommendation Letter

A. Reference Letter

A professional reference letter is simply a report (supposedly neutral) verifying the employment history in a previous employee's CV (short for Curriculum Vitae) for a prospective employer when the employee requests the letter for a job application. Sometimes, as part of a job application process, job seekers may need reference letters because a prospective employer has requested them to provide these letters based on their list of references. Letters of reference generally include facts and not personal opinions. For reference letters to be effective letters, they should be brief and include the following:

1. A statement to the addressee (or "To whom it may concern") on the purpose of the reference; and

2. The period of employment of the referee, with an account of the duties performed or the referee's general qualifications.

B. Recommendation Letter

A recommendation letter is similar to a reference letter but the former carries an endorsement of the referee. Letters of recommendation may include personal opinions on the referee and are intended to persuade prospective employers on the ability, skills and / or personal qualities of the employee based on factual information from the experience of working with the employee. In addition, a recommendation letter would include a paragraph recommending the person to the relevant position. One should try to give specific details to improve the chance of the referee getting the job. The letter should be brief, clear and to the point to ensure that it can be easily read.

C. Asking for a Reference / Recommendation letter.

One should have a positive attitude and be polite and tactful when seeking a reference / recommendation letter from a previous employer, especially if you have not been keeping in touch for a while. Make it clear that you do not want to put this person in an awkward position, but you would very much appreciate it if he / she can write you a letter of recommendation. You can even suggest preparing a drafted reference letter template for this person. Tell you about the job and company you are looking for. Do not include someone as a reference if he / she is uncomfortable or reluctant to assist in writing a letter of reference / recommendation. The person will be unlikely to put in a good word for you.


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