CFI's reference letter template is used to help someone draft letters to assist their colleagues and former employees in their job hunts. Among the cover letter and resume, a reference letter is one of the most powerful resources when applying for a school or a new position.

Professional References

As mentioned, reference letters are one of the best ways to convince a hiring manager to give you an interview. Pair a reference letter with a cover letter for the best results when applying. A reference letter is a testament from another person reinforcing the reliability and competence of an applicant. It is more powerful than a simple reference because someone is taking their time to testify to the applicant's abilities. By taking the effort to write a reference letter, this person is risking their reputation to back up the applicant's credibility and abilities. Usually, reference letters are written by someone's supervisor or superior. Most people ask professors, bosses, or previous managers to write a reference letter for them. Make sure to use CFI's reference letter template so it is easier for your colleagues to help you write a reference letter!

Components of a Reference Letter

A reference letter contains several important components that must be included. These components are:
  • Recommendation
  • Information about the reference and their relation to the applicant
  • Applicant's roles, responsibilities, and skills as observed by the reference
  • Reference contact information
As you will see, we have broken these components into separate paragraphs in our reference letter template: First Paragraph: this paragraph includes a quick introduction about the reference, if they are recommending the applicant, and a statement about how they know the applicant. Second Paragraph: this is the body of the letter. This paragraph should go into detail about the reference and the applicant's relationship. It should include information about both people's job positions. Additionally, this paragraph should have details about employment dates and the applicant's responsibilities. Third Paragraph: this is a short paragraph re-affirming the recommendation and the reference's confidence in the applicant. Fourth Paragraph: this is the conclusion of the letter. It should contain the contact information of the reference so the hiring/enrollment committee can reach the reference. If you are looking for more career resources, CFI has a great interactive career map to help you plan out your finance path!
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