How to Write a Reference Letter for a Friend

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Friends can be reliable sources for letters of recommendation. Employers, organizations and colleges all place some credence in the words written by references of candidates. The objective of the writer is to convey to the employer or scholarship board that their friend is the number one choice. Friends can provide a perspective that a professor, boss or co-worker may not be able to articulate. However, friends have to ensure that their letter of reference is not consumed with only character accounts.

1 Type

Type the date of the letter and the address of the recipient of the letter of recommendation. For example the letter heading would look like this:
February 14, 2000

2 Alfred Brown 1123 Orlando Hwy Detroit Michigan

Alfred Brown 1123 Orlando Hwy Detroit Michigan

3 Dear Mr. or Mrs

Dear Mr. or Mrs. (if the recipient is known). If the recipient is not known, use the phase, “To Whom It May Concern.”

4 State the intent of the letter

State the intent of the letter. Indicate in clear terms your intentions to provide the candidate with the highest level of recommendation. Start the statement with, “It gives me great pleasure to provide this letter of recommendation in support of Mr. James Brown." Another option is to say, “Please accept this letter of recommendation at the request of Mr. James Brown." State your acquaintance with the candidate. Indicate the length of time you have known the candidate and in what capacity you have interacted with the candidate.

5 Provide your credentials and qualifications

Provide your credentials and qualifications to establish credibility with the recipient of the letter. Share each level of academic study completed. Indicate any special training or certifications you may have that relate to the position or program the candidate is seeking to fulfill or join.

6 State the credentials of the candidate

State the credentials of the candidate. Indicate the candidate's entire academic qualifications and any special awards the candidate has received as a result of working on special programs or projects. State explicitly the character traits of the candidate. Provide insight about the candidate’s character, work ethic, interactions with others, integrity and dependability. Outline the candidate’s leadership capabilities with specific examples of the candidate excelling.

7 Restate your confidence

Restate your confidence in the candidate’s ability to fulfill the duties of the position he is seeking. State in a sentence or two your recommendation about the candidate. Invite the recipient of the letter to contact you through phone, email or correspondence. Provide the necessary information to facilitate any additional communication. Close the letter with a positive tone. Use a valediction such as "Sincerely," your name and title if applicable.

Based in Virginia, Kevin M. Jackson has been writing professionally since 2003. He is the author of the books "Life Lessons for My Sons" and "When GOD Speaks." Jackson holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Savannah State University and a Master of Arts in urban education from Norfolk State University.