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The ABC's to Writing A Block Style Reference Letter

Updated on January 8, 2014

Business Full Block Style of Letter

Modified Block Letter Reference

Modified Block
Modified Block

Have you ever written a letter of recommendation for someone?

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Letter of Recommendation

Let us say, that it is your turn to write a Letter of Recommendation, otherwise known as a Letter of Reference. Many times a Letters of Recommendation can be needed, when someone is trying to obtained job employment, seeking credit or applying to an educational institution. It is a big responsibility when approach by someone to carry out this task. Literally, their future is at your fingertips.

Getting Started Tips:

  1. First, you never want to turn someone down because you are not a professional writer. Alternatively, because you lack the ability to creatively express your own opinion. As we all know, it is improbable to predict the future. No matter how stable your life might be right now- one never knows when they themselves will need the favor returned.
  2. Do not stress out over little erroneous details. It does not matter if you are not a professional writer. The people subjected to read a letter of reference does not care about your writing style. It is easy to overwhelm yourself in this simple task. The most important thing to remember when writing a Letter of reference is; they are trying to find out whom the "applicant" is. They want straightforward penmanship on whether the applicant is reliable, trustworthy, goal orientated and responsible. They want to know whether the person being considered, is worthy of being accepting for the open position being sought. That is it! So let us get started.

· Letter Format

Frankly, the recipient of said reference letter could care less about the format used when writing. So make sure not to bog yourself down with protocol, before ever getting started. Most written recommendations are completed by hand, typed or computer generated. Whatever the preferred method, always use the Full-Block style, when writing this type of letter. The Full-Block style is a professional standard in the business industry.

· The Text

Q. What is the purpose of reference or recommendations letters?

A. Letters of Recommendations use is to evaluate any applicant's performance and potential.

Q. How long does it have to be?

A. A Full-Block Letter of Recommendation structure is 5 to 6 short paragraph summaries. With each paragraph, around five sentences long.

  1. Salutation (To Whom It May Concern ;)

The Body of the letter will be YOU commenting on certain professional characteristics. Follow this suggested format, and you will do just fine.

1. (Paragraph 1) Do you consider the applicant to be reliable, and if so how? The definition of reliable goes as follows: Fit to be trusted, and relied on. Action words to use in your comments→


2. (Paragraph 2) Do you consider this applicant to be a responsible person? Then comment. The definition of responsible to use here is: Able to fulfill one's obligation. Able to choose between right and wrong. Liable for their actions. Action words to use in your comments→ ACCOUNTABLE and RELIABLE

3. (Paragraph 3) Do you consider the applicant dependable? The definition of dependable to use here is: To depend upon.

Action words to use in your comments→ STEADY and ACCURATE

4. (Paragraph 4) Is this person able to manage their time? Do they turn assignments in on time? Are they ever late for work? When assigned a task, is it finished on time? The recipients of this letter will want to know if the applicant is an accurate and efficient time manger. The “Time Management” definition to apply here is: Able to use different combinations of scheduling processes, tools, and techniques in order to effectively govern themselves and staff.

Action words to use in your comments→ ORGANIZED and DELIGENT

5. (Summary) Summarize the applicants’ strengths.

6. (Closure) Sincerely, John Doe


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  • Ambition398 profile image

    Ambition398 8 years ago

    Nice image there! Good tips, thanks for posting them.