It would be beneficial to, before commencing this piece, make a distinction between a reference letter and a recommendation letter. While these letters are often interchangeably used, this is a misconception. Although the characteristics of both reference and recommendation letters are similar in addition to serving like purposes, there is still a subtle distinction to be made between them.
Recommendation letters are particularly specific to a designated person and are mostly requested for, while letters of reference are of a more unspecific attribute. Reference letters are generally addressed to no exact individual in particular.
Reference letters and letters of recommendation can be essentially referred to as endorsement letters. These documents serve to give cognizance of the candidate and are mostly written by individuals who must have personally worked with the person in question.
Reference and recommendation letters are beneficial for different purposes such as academic admission applications, employment aspirations and character evaluation among others. The features of these documents include; name and contact information; date; salutation; body of the letter; strong conclusion as well as the complimentary closing. Reference and recommendation letters are of massive importance to both the prospective employer and also the aspiring employee alike.
Some of the benefits associated with the use of reference and recommendation letters include the following.
1. Provides Insight Into The Candidate’s Character
Reference letters and recommendation letters provide the recruiter/ employer an outstanding opportunity to have a better comprehension of the applicant’s/ candidate’s qualities and character. This is possible due to the fat that reference and recommendation letters are written only by those individuals who are notably privy to the attributes of the candidate. This therefore assists the employer in forming a reasonably candid opinion about the candidate in question.
2. Provides Insight Into The Candidate’s Suitability For The Job
Similar to the point made above, reference letters and recommendation letters, despite their perspicacity into the candidate’s qualities, are also highly advantageous to the employer in determining the suitability of the candidate for the job.
This is as a result of the fact that the recruiter can make reasonable deductions from the reference and recommendation letters as regards how appropriate the candidate is for the job through the stringent evaluation of the perspectives of the writer of the letter especially on indices such as experience and qualifications.
3. Provides Background Information
In addition to their abilities to provide insight into the candidate’s qualities and suitability for the job at hand, reference letters and letters of recommendation also have the spectacular propensity to verify and/or substantiate the claims and assertions made by the candidate in his/her cover letter, application and/or resume. Thus, the employer is afforded a good chance to authenticate the information provided by the applicant.
4. Motivates The Candidate
Reference letters and letters of recommendation are very useful especially with regards to boosting the candidate’s morale and confidence going forward. This is a truism by virtue of the fact that when a favorable recommendation and/or reference letter is written about a candidate, he/she is evidently inspired and brimming with self-confidence, especially if and when an interview is conducted.
5. Saves Time And Resources
The time, energy and resources that would have otherwise been expended on conducting fact-finding research and verification of the items of information provided by the candidate are significantly reduced when reference letters and/or letters of recommendation are available. Thus, the employer is considerably relieved of the ordeal of corroborating the candidate’s submission.
All these points stated above are all geared towards generally improving on the chances of a favorable consideration of the candidate’s application.