Why Do I Need a Reference or Recommendation Letter?

Why do I Need a Reference LetterWhy Do You Need a Reference or Recommendation Letter?

The answer to this question is quite simple. A great reference letter can mean the difference between you being accepted or rejected.

A Great reference letter can help land that perfect job, receive that well deserved promotion, or to gain admission into your dream college or university. Or perhaps you need a place to stay, like that great apartment a few blocks away from your work.

Regardless of your pursuit, you need to understand that what you say is important…….but what someone else says about you is even MORE important. When you can offer third party proof that you are who you say you are, the person making the decision regarding your future now has proof that you are worthy of consideration.

Good Luck!

Lyle MacPherson
Author

How to Write a Great Reference Letter

How to Write a Great Reference Letter

Would You Like to Know EXACTLY How to Write a Great Reference Letter?

Learn the quick and simple steps to writing and effective Reference Letter.. Start Writing Today!

Let me and my 40 Years of Experience help you to Quickly and Easily Write an Effective Reference Letter Every Single Time! The Best Part is….It’s Easier Than You Think!

If you are writing a Reference Letter without first fully understanding its value, what critical information to include and the proper format, then you are risking it ending up on the bottom of the pile not being noticed!

How to Write a Great Reference Letter

As the Author of How to Write a Great Reference Letter, I spent several months collecting and organizing massive amounts of information on all of the different types of Reference and Recommendation Letters. Armed with this information and drawing from my 40 years of business experiences, I wrote a complete, step-by-step resource guide designed for anyone who needs a little help in writing any kind of Reference or Recommendation Letter

In this in-depth, digital guide, you’ll find step-by-step, easy-to-follow instructions on how to Write a Reference letter Guaranteed to Help Someone achieve their goals. Here is just some of what you will learn:

  • The Value of a Great Reference Letter and why the reader places so much importance on it.
  • The difference between a Reference Letter and a Recommendation Letter and exactly what you should be including (or excluding) in each one.
  • The answer to the question “Is it O.K. for me to write my own Reference Letter?”
  • Definitions of the various types of Reference Letters and the purpose of each…including what the reader of each is expecting to see in the letter.
  • How to properly ask someone to write a Reference Letter for you.
  • How to determine if you are the best one to write this reference letter.
  • Exactly what your Reference Letter should look like if you want the reader to take your letter seriously.
  • Exactly what content you should include in your Reference Letter……what to say and what NOT to say.
  • Tips on writing any kind of Reference Letter, including appearance, content, length, and proper word usage.
  • Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions.
  • And much, much more.

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I have also written 4 Sample Reference Letters to provide you with the basic format of a Reference Letter and to stimulate you thoughts as to what you might write.

Enter your Email Address and your Name below to get Instant Access to your 4 Free Sample Reference Letters.




About the Author

Lyle MAcPhersonMy Name is Lyle MacPherson. I am a Certified Management Accountant (C.M.A.) I am presently the Controller and Chief Financial Officer for a group of eight companies with gross annual sales in excess of $500 million.

My first experience with reference letters began when I applied for my first job over 35 years ago. That first job turned into a 23 year career, including 14 promotions. Great reference letters were one of the key contributors to that success, and they still are today. Having been in senior management positions for 30 years, I have also written countless reference letters to help other people get what they want!

I am presently in the position of Controller / CEO of a group of companies with annual sales in excess of $500 million.

Here’s the thing – As a hiring manager for most of my adult life as well as an employee climbing the corporate ladder all of my adult life, I know firsthand the value of a Great Reference Letter!

Here’s a fact – When I’m hiring someone, I place as much value on the applicants reference letter as I do in their resume. Trust me… a great reference letter does make a difference in swaying someone’s opinion!

Harsh but true – I have seen literally 100’s of reference letters. Due to poor quality, there were dozens that I never finished reading and a couple that hit the trash! That may sound cruel but I am a very busy man. My opinion is simply this… If someone expects me to take time to read their reference letter, they need to have taken some time to write a proper reference letter.

I recently needed to write a Court Character Reference Letter for a young man very close to me, who had gotten in trouble with the law. He admitted he had made a mistake and deep down I knew he is a good young man so I wanted to help him out at his trial. So, I decided to write a Character Reference Letter that would be presented to both lawyers and the judge handling the court case. This was one extremely important reference letter and it really had to be GREAT, to say the least! After accepting the task, I went to the Internet in search of some information to help me write my letter.

I spent literally hours and hours, exhaustively searching for ideas on how to write an effective reference letter. I was wanting to know what to include in the reference letter as well as what format the reference letter should be in. With all of the information products available on the internet today I thought that I would have been able to find all the answers to my questions in one place! Instead what I found was bits and pieces of information all over the place. I needed to get the reference letter written in less than a week and I felt that all I was doing was wasting my valuable time looking!

Fortunately my career has provided me with a great deal of experience both writing and using reference letters. Using this experience and adding a more personal touch, I was able to provide the young man with a “Great character Reference Letter”. Long story short, the young man avoided jail time, thanks in part to that letter. What a rewarding experience it was to see the joy and relief on my friends face AND the joy on his mother’s face when we were able to leave the courtroom together!

It was at that moment that I decided I would write an all inclusive, step-by-step resource guide, on how to write a great reference letter just by following a few simple guidelines. This book was a labor of love and I Personally Guarantee You that if you follow the few simple rules and guidelines I teach, you too will experience that wonderful feeling of helping someone you care about achieve their goals and dreams!

I have also written 4 Sample Reference Letters to provide you with the basic format of a Reference Letter and to stimulate you thoughts as to what you might write.

Enter your Email Address and your Name below to get Instant Access to your 4 Free Sample Reference Letters.




The Confusion Around Reference Letters

The Confusion Around Reference LettersI recently needed to write a Court Character Reference Letter for a young man very close to me, who had gotten in trouble with the law. I went to the Internet in search of some information to help me write my letter. I was blown away at how little information there was on the subject. With so little information available regarding this subject, it is easy to see why there is a great deal of confusion about the many different types of reference letters.

Reference letters are often referred to in many different ways, including the following:

  • Recommendation Letters
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Reference Letters
  • Letters of Reference
  • Commendation Letters
  • Performance Evaluation Letters

So what’s the Problem?

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Is it OK to Write My Own Reference Letter or Recommendation Letter?

Is it OK for me to Write my Own Reference Letter?The person determining whether you are worthy of your desired goal will get information from you by some kind of interview with you. But, as is often the case, we can’t take everyone at face value – and this is where your need for a reference from a third party comes in.

A great reference letter or recommendation letter supplies third-party proof that you are who you say that you are and that you are therefore worthy of serious consideration. You need someone else to back up your story! What you REALLY need is someone else’s signature on the letter other than your own.

You may, however, be asked to provide some, or even all of the “content” of the letter yourself. In this situation, you will be the one putting the words on the page for someone else’s signature. This is often the case when the person asked to provide a reference letter for you is not good with words, not good at writing a professional letter or simply doesn’t have the time to sit down and think of the many glowing things to say about you! This person, however, has agreed to vouch for what you say by putting their name and signature at the bottom of the letter.

Writing a Great Reference Letter can easily take several hours. For this reason, it not unusual for a Manager or Professor to ask you to write a good portion of the letter that they will later be happy to review, edit and sign for you.

If you must write your own reference letter due to the circumstances I just mentioned, keep the following important points in mind during the writing process:

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Reference Letter Definitions

Reference Letter DefinitionsWhen it comes right down to it there are 3 types of Reference Letters:

Employment Recommendation Letters

An Employment Recommendation Letter is written specifically to help someone obtain employment. 0

Academic Recommendation Letters

An Academic Recommendation Letter is written specifically for someone who is seeking entry into undergraduate and/or graduate programs at a college or university, or for someone about to receive a scholarship or fellowship.

Character Reference Letters

Also referred to as a “Personal Reference Letters” or “Personal Recommendation Letters,” a Character Reference Letter should illustrate an individual’s most positive personal attributes. This type of reference letter is most often used for important, non-employment and non-academic related pursuits.

Good Luck!

Lyle MacPherson
Author

How to Write a Great Reference Letter

How Do I Ask Someone to Write a Reference Letter for Me?

How do I ask Someone to Write a Reference Letter for Me?When considering asking someone to write a reference letter for you, take some time to think carefully about both the reader of the letter and your relationship with the writer of the letter.

Who you will ask will depend on the type of letter you require, which I will cover in more detail later in this book, but in general, you need to consider these basic guidelines.

Who Should I Ask to Write the Letter for Me?

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What If I Have Been Asked to Write a Reference Letter?

What if I have been Asked to Write a Reference LetterSo, what do you do if the tables are suddenly turned? Someday, or maybe already, someone may ask you to write a reference letter on their behalf.

A Great Reference Letter can mean the difference between the applicant or candidate being accepted or rejected. This one simple, yet critical fact means that you need to be 100% sure that you are the best person to write this reference letter.

If you have been asked to write a reference letter for someone, you should ask them to let you think about it for a few hours or overnight before you answer them. This is obviously an important letter and both you and the one requesting the letter want to be sure you are the best on to be writing it.



There are five basic questions that you need to ask yourself before you agree to perform this important task:

  1. Do I have the time to write a great reference letter?
  2. Do I honestly feel comfortable writing a reference letter for this person?
  3. Am I truly the right person to compose a reference letter for this person?
  4. Do I know the person well enough to discuss his or her strengths and accomplishments?
  5. Can I honestly write positive things about the person who has requested the reference letter?

If you cannot answer “yes” to most or all of these questions, you should bow out gracefully right from the beginning. A reference letter is designed to make someone look good to another person who is in a position of influence. If you feel that you cannot honestly paint a good picture of the person, you will be doing them a disservice by agreeing to write the letter.

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What Steps Can you Take to Ensure that you will Write the Best Reference Letter Possible?

The first thing you should do is meet with the individual and have a brainstorming session. Get a good idea of the exact purpose of the letter and who the recipients and ultimate decision makers will be. This will help you understand the tone and style you need to employ when writing the reference letter and it will also allow you to know the pertinent information required to be included in the specific situation, as well as “what to leave out.”

Your brainstorming session should be quite extensive. You and the person you are writing the reference letter for cannot afford to make a mistake or say the wrong or inappropriate thing. Ask questions about their goals and aspirations. You need to know what they are specifically trying to accomplish so that you can then direct your comments specifically to those goals.

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Put Yourself in the Reader’s Shoes

Put Yourself in the Readers ShoesThe first thing to remember is that the reader of your letter will likely have numerous reference letters to review other than the one you are writing. They are usually very busy individuals who have a limited amount of time to devote to each letter they receive. It is important that your letter really stand out in order to grab their attention.

In addition to the reference letter, a hiring manager will also have the job applicant’s resume, and the faculty or admissions reader will have the college applicant’s transcripts and test scores. All of the readers will also have the opportunity to interview the applicants in person.



With all this information already in the reader’s possession, what could a reference letter possibly provide them with that they do not already have? Remember that one of the main purposes of a reference letter is to provide third party verification that what the applicant has indicated in the other pieces of information can be verified by someone. Simply put, a well written reference letter will add a great deal of credibility to what the applicant has already indicated.

What the readers are looking for in the reference letter are four additional dynamics that only a reference letter can provide. The reader is specifically looking for:

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