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Reference Letters
REFERENCE LETTER SAMPLE
Below is a suggested format for reference letters. The bracketed words are suggested
options to use when applicable to your particular letter.
SALUTATION:
Dear [NAME OF EMPLOYER:] or [TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:]
PARAGRAPH 1:
If written to a specific employer:
I am writing this reference letter at the request of [student] who is applying for the
position of [job title] with your [firm, company, school, etc.]
If written to whom it may concern:
I am writing this reference letter at the request of [student]. S/he has asked me to write
this general letter which s/he may show to any prospective employer who asks him/her
for references.
This reference letter is provided at the written request of [name of person], who has
asked me to serve as a reference on [his/her] behalf. It is my understanding that [name ]
is being considered by your organization for the position of [job title]. Please be advised
that the information contained in this letter is confidential and should be treated as such.
The information should not be disclosed to anyone in your organization who would not
be involved in the hiring decision regarding this individual. Additionally, the information
should not be disclosed to anyone outside of your organization without the consent of
the person in question.
PARAGRAPH 2:
I have known [student] for [length of time] in my capacity as a [your job title] at [your
employer]. If Applicable: [student] worked for me as a [job title]. or [student] belonged to
the [club or organization] for which I served as an advisor. or [student] took [number]
courses from me, including [names]. [Student] earned grades of [list grades], respectively,
in those courses. Based on [student's] grades, along with his/her [excellent, good, etc.]
attendance and class participation, I'd rate [students] performance in my class as [rating].
PARAGRAPH 3:
[student] has a number of strengths to offer [an employer, a graduate program]. List
qualities here, backing each one up with examples. Try to pick qualities that tie into the
specific type of job student is seeking or requested on the grad school application.
EXAMPLE: "[Student] often exhibited excellent leadership in my class, volunteering to
lead groups and then organizing the group's project quickly and efficiently. This attribute
would serve [student] well in the position of Assistant Manager with your company."
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