The situations where a recommendation letter is required are quite varied; for that reason, the tone must be adapted to the particular goal they are trying to achieve. The person writing the letter should also be chosen accordingly.
Friends and family are usually asked to write a personal letter of recommendation when the focus needs to be on the character and moral values of the person, rather than on their professional or educational background.
Even if the document should be written from a personal perspective, it’s still better to use a reference letter template, so it can be well-organized and easy to read.
What Is a Personal Reference Letter?
The personal reference letter is usually used to back someone up when they are applying for a job, or an essential position in the community; they also need it when they are trying to rent an apartment or be accepted into a private club.
They need a testimony of their positive character traits so they can stand out from the rest of the applicants. The author must share some past experiences when they noticed the applicant behaving correctly or making the right decisions. Any piece of information that reveals a positive aspect of their personality is useful.
When Is a Personal Reference Letter Needed?
A personal recommendation letter is needed whenever the person’s character is under scrutiny, to help reveal their positive traits and moral behavior. You can be asked to write a letter of recommendation for a friend in situations like the ones below:
- They are facing the court and need an excellent character testimony to get a lower sentence
- They are applying for a job, and apart from the professional experience, the future employer wants proof of character
- They are trying to get a high-profile position in the community
- They want to rent a condo in a selective building
- They are applying for an exclusive club or organization
- When it comes to job applications, the personal reference letter is usually required if it’s the person’s first job, or if they don’t have an excellent work record and they need something to balance their image
People are usually asked to write a reference letter for a friend for typical situations where the person who will read the letter simply needs evidence of the applicant’s character. But there are some cases when that reference letter can have a significant impact on that person’s life.
The best examples are the character reference letter for court and immigration. In these cases, the document needs to look more formal and must be written with even more attention and accuracy. It’s also crucial to choose the right author for the personal reference letter when the stakes are so high.
What Is Included in a Personal Reference Letter?
There isn’t a standard length for the letter of recommendation for a friend; it depends on the particular situation the document is needed for. As for the sections, they are generally the same. Even so, using a reference letter template is always recommended, because the letter will look more organized and professional.
If you are convinced the situation asks for a truly personal touch, you can try handing in a handwritten reference letter. In any case, these are the main elements any personal letter of recommendation should include:
- The date when the reference letter is written
- A salutation section; if you know who will read the letter, mention them by name, if not, use the phrase ‘To whom it may concern.’
- A brief introduction where you present a few details on yourself, and show in what circumstances and how long you have known the applicant
- A couple of body paragraphs where you add more specific details about your relationship with the applicant and give a few relevant examples of their model behavior in challenging situations
- Make sure to keep it to the point and only include pieces of information that make sense in the context and are relevant to the current situation; try to be concise, but at the same time offer enough details to paint a vivid picture
- The last paragraph of the personal recommendation letter is the conclusion; that’s where you summarize your arguments and underline once again your endorsement of the applicant
- End the reference letter with a formal sign off and your contact information, mentioning that you are available for any further questions
Whenever someone is applying for an important position or trying to be part of a selective club, they need someone to vouch for their character. So, they will ask family and friends, people who know them best, to write a personal reference letter.
Since this is the author’s point of view, the format isn’t that strict, but the reference letter still needs to be reader-friendly and well-organized.
To write the most efficient letter of recommendation for a friend, try the reference letter template from CocoSign. All the templates we create are user-friendly and efficient, and you can find one for all the documents you may need.