How to Write Written References

Many Types Of Written References

How to write references is a common concern of anyone who has a position of leadership. It could be that of a manager, teacher, supervisor, professor, officer and so on. Usually reference letters are written for purposes of employment, application for an academic program or to seek general assistance for a particular endeavor. To be of true value, references should be written by the person who has been requested to provide it. Unfortunately, there are many instances where this does not hold true. This happens because writing references is often viewed by many as a difficult task.

What To Write?

  1. Provide a brief introduction. In what capacity have you known the person, for how long and where?
  2. List and explain some person strengths. These could be personal or job and task related.
  3. Identify areas for improvement. How do you think this can be best achieved?
  4. Give your recommendation.
  5. Invite follow-up.

General Guidelines For Writing References

  • Be objective. Provide the facts and substantiate them. Keep to what you know about the person. Do not generalize or base your statements on your opinions or those of others.
  • Personal details such as race, religion, nationality, marital status etc., are not to be included in the written reference.
  • If necessary, include a confidentiality statement in the document.
  • Written references are usually followed-up by telephone or e-mail. Ensure that you keep a copy of the written references that are provided by you and be prepared to furnish further details where required.
  • Ensure that the document is well written with correct spelling and proper grammar.
  • Keep in mind that the document is of great importance. Key decisions would be based on it.
  • Be truthful but avoid doing harm.

In addition to understanding the basics of writing written references, it is best that certain tools are used in preparing them. Well written references prove invaluable to those who use them to develop their personal ambitions. In writing references, sample references, templates and even specially designed software for better writing would be helpful.

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