Reference Letter Should Include

When it comes to writing a reference letter, there are certain things that should be included to ensure that it effectively communicates the strengths of the person being recommended. In this article, we will go over some tips and examples of what should be included in a reference letter.

Tips for Writing a Reference Letter

Below are some tips for writing a reference letter:

1. Introduction

The introduction of a reference letter should include a brief explanation of how you know the person being recommended, how long you have known them, and your relationship with them. It should also include the reason for the reference letter.


Dear Hiring Manager,

I am writing this letter to recommend John Smith for the position of Sales Manager at your company. I have known John for over five years and have worked with him closely in my previous role as the Director of Sales at XYZ Company.


Jane Doe

2. Letter Body

The letter body should elaborate on the person’s skills, qualities, and achievements that make them a good fit for the position or opportunity they are applying for. It should provide specific examples of how the person has demonstrated their strengths.


Dear Admissions Committee,

I am writing to highly recommend Sarah Johnson for admission to your Master of Business Administration program. I had the pleasure of working with Sarah for three years at ABC Company, where she served as a Financial Analyst.

Best regards,

John Doe

3. Complimentary Close

The complimentary close should wrap up the letter and reiterate your recommendation for the person. It should also include your contact information in case the recipient has any further questions.


Dear Hiring Manager,

I highly recommend John Smith for the position of Sales Manager at your company. He would be an asset to your team and I am confident that he will excel in this role. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Best regards,

Jane Doe

4. Use Specific Examples

Using specific examples of the person’s accomplishments and skills can help to strengthen your letter and provide credibility to your recommendation.

5. Address Specific Requirements

If the person is applying for a specific position or opportunity, make sure to address the requirements and qualifications mentioned in the job posting or application.

6. Use Professional Language

Use professional language and avoid using slang or colloquialisms.

7. Edit and Proofread

Make sure to edit and proofread your letter before submitting it to ensure that it is error-free and presents your recommendation in the best possible light.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a reference letter?

A reference letter is a document written by someone who knows an individual well and is recommending them for a job, academic program, or other opportunity.

What should be included in a reference letter?

A reference letter should include an introduction, letter body, and complimentary close. It should also include specific examples of the person’s skills and accomplishments, as well as your contact information.

Who can write a reference letter?

Anyone who knows the person well and can provide a credible recommendation can write a reference letter.

How long should a reference letter be?

A reference letter should be one to two pages long.

What is the difference between a reference letter and a recommendation letter?

A reference letter is typically more general and can be used for a variety of purposes, while a recommendation letter is typically more specific and tailored to a particular opportunity or application.

Can you write a negative reference letter?

It is generally not recommended to write a negative reference letter, as it can harm the person’s chances of getting the opportunity they are applying for. If you cannot provide a positive recommendation, it is better to decline to write the letter.


Writing a reference letter can be a valuable way to help someone achieve their goals. By including specific examples of the person’s skills and accomplishments and following the tips outlined in this article, you can create a strong and effective reference letter that can help the person stand out from the competition.