Saturday, 1 October 2011

How to Get Good Reference Letters

Updated 15 November 2012

Try to get reference / recommendation letter before you leave your current job. First, your boss will be more likely to remember details about your position. Second, your boss is still working there. Third, you're still working there and can remind your boss to give you a reference letter.

International School Review has some more tips on how to request reference letters. If you've left your job and need to ask for a reference letter try following the form below. You might also try reading ISR's What do YOU Want in Your Letter of Reference?


Asking for a Reference Letter
Dear (Name)
My name is (name) and I worked at your institute from (dates) as a (job title). I am currently applying for a position in/at (country or institute). In order to apply for this position I must submit reference letters and I would like to know if you would be able to write a reference letter for me. If possible, could you please include two copies: one for my application and one for my personal records. I really appreciate your help. Thank you so much.
Sincerely,
(Your name)
(Your postal address so they can snail mail you.)

What a Good Reference Letter Should Contain
  • How you know me, ex. employer, students, etc.
  • What I did and when.
  • Why I am a good candidate for the position.
  • Any additional responsibilites: workshops, newsletters, level coordinator, student placement, etc.
  • Write the letter on professional letterhead with the name of the institution at the top.
  • Should include contact information (address, phone, and email).
  • Include job title (mine and yours)
  • Sign using ink. Don't just type your name.
  • Stamp it with the school's stamp.
  • Date it.
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This article has been published in the ELT Times.

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