Letters of Recommendation and References

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When you are job seeking, you will most likely have to ask someone for a letter of recommendation or a reference. In a letter of recommendation, someone who knows you (either personally or professionally) speaks to your positive qualities. The goal of a letter of recommendation is to convince an employer that you are a good hire.

Read below to learn what you need to know about references, including information on reference and recommendation letters, sample letters of recommendation and reference lists, how to ask for a reference, and how to use references.

There is also information on what reference checkers can ask about you and what previous employers can disclose.

Types of Recommendation Letters and References

Types of Recommendation Letters
There are several common types of recommendation letters including recommendation letters for employment, for college or graduate school, and for online networking sites like LinkedIn. There are also academic letters of recommendation, character references, and LinkedIn references. Read here for descriptions and samples of each type of recommendation.

Character / Personal References
Concerned about the references your employer might give you? Or do you have limited work experience? Consider using a character reference (also known as a personal reference) in addition to or as an alternative to employment reference letters.

Academic Recommendations
High school and college students, as well as students applying to graduate school, might rely on teachers and professors for references.

Here is advice on requesting a letter of recommendation from an instructor, as well as sample academic recommendations.

Recommendation Letter and Reference Advice

Who and How to Ask for a Reference / Recommendation Letter
Who you ask for a reference is very important. You want to select someone who is going to provide a positive reference that speaks to your qualifications.

Read here for advice on who to ask for a reference or recommendation letter, as well as advice on how to ask them.

How to Write a Recommendation Letter
How to write a letter of recommendation, including what to include in each section of the letter, how to send it, and sample letters of recommendation for employment and academics.

Here is more information on how to write references, including the best way to write a reference, plus reference letter examples and templates.

Recommendation Letter and Reference Examples

Example References / Letters of Recommendation
Example reference and recommendation letters, letter samples for character references, and a letter asking for a reference. You can find dozens of examples here, organized by type of reference and the relationship of the reference writer to the job seeker. There is also a reference letter template and formatting advice.

Example Reference List
A reference list is a page that lists all your references, their titles, their relationship to you, and their contact information.

Here is advice on creating a reference list, as well as an example list of references to provide to employers upon request for a reference list.

Reference / Background Check Information

Background Checks and Employment Verification
Background check and employment verification information. What employers need to know, who they check with, and what background and employment verification information can be released or is required.

Reference Check Questions
Review these reference check questions so you and your references will know what to expect when prospective employees inquire about your background and abilities.

Read More: Requesting References | Sample Reference Letters | Student References | Personal and Character References | Official Transcripts

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