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Letters of Reference - Typical Situations

As defined on the main page of this Web site, letters of reference tend to deal with general situations and are usually addressed in a general way: "To Whom It May Concern", "Dear Sir/Madam", etc.

Typical situations for which reference letters are often required include: employment references, college and university references, character and personal references, and a variety of general subject reference letters.

Here are some situations for which letters of reference are often required:
  • Someone asks you to write a general letter of reference on their behalf to cover any one of the situations listed in the paragraph above.

  • You need a general letter of reference to use in your applications to various college and/or university program and will ask someone to write the letter on your behalf.

  • You have been asked to draft a general reference letter in support of someone's nomination for a special program or award.

  • You have been asked by a friend or colleague to write them a general purpose reference letter that they can use in their employment search.

  • You are "shopping" for a new job and need a general letter of reference to help you in your employment search.

  • A former employee has asked you to write them a general purpose reference letter that can be used for various purposes such as job search, immigration, etc.

  • As a teacher or professor you are routinely asked to write general reference letters to support various academic or employment efforts of your students.

  • You are a student, and the teacher or professor that you have asked to write your reference letter, wants you to prepare the first draft for their revision.

  • A friend, neighbor or colleague has requested that you write them a general reference letter that they can use as a general purpose character reference.

  • You need a general letter of reference written on your behalf so that you may include it with your various college and/or scholarship applications.

  • As a graduate medical student you need a general letter of reference to include with your applications for admission into various residency programs.

  • You have been asked to "supply letters of reference" before entry into a special training course or a post-graduate college or university program.

  • As a small business entrepreneur, you need general letters of reference to present to potential creditors and investors.

  • You need a general letter of reference to obtain funds through a special limited entry scholarship program.

  • You are a business person and you need a general letter of reference that you can show to prospective customers, suppliers, and/or financial partners.

  • You are a tenant and you need to have a general letter of reference from your current/previous landlord that you can show to potential new landlords.

  • You are in business and have been asked by one of your suppliers to write a general reference letter that they can use as a testimonial in their marketing efforts.

  • As a client, you have been asked by a business or professional who worked for you, to write them a general reference letter that they can use in their marketing efforts.

  • You need to draft a general letter of reference for your bank manager's signature that you can show to prospective business partners, taxation officials, etc.

  • You are a pet owner and you need a general letter of reference from your current/previous landlord that you can use when searching for a new apartment.

This is not an exhaustive list of all possible letter of reference situations, but it covers a representative cross-section of the types of circumstances for which these more general testimonial letters are normally required.

Most of the 79 sample templates that are included in my book, Instant Recommendation Letter Kit - How To Write Winning Letters of Recommendation, are based on actual real-life situations similar to the above.
Instant Recommendation Letter Kit

What makes this Kit really useful is that, in addition to the main "how-to" ebook full of practical tips and information, you also get a bonus report containing all 79 fully-formatted reference and recommendation letter templates in a format (MS-Word) that you can download directly into your word processor, and work with as you wish to create your own reference letters quickly and easily.

Note:  If you think that your reference letter situation doesn't really fit with any of the above, you might want to check out some typical Letters of Recommendation that are listed elsewhere on this site.
Typical Recommendation Letter Situations



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