The job reference letter is perhaps the single most important document you can send out with your resume. It will be the first piece of contact you have with potential employers and it can make or break your chances. So how do you write a well-written, competent letter that gets noticed?
There are three steps to writing a good letter. You start by taking notes on the specific job description you are trying to communicate and write a letter that reinforces the values, goals, and objectives that you set out. By the time you finish writing the letter, you should be able to identify where you stand and what you need to work on moving forward.
The next step is to break down the position into the most important things you want to convey to the hiring manager in a one paragraph summary. You want to be sure that the summary includes the following: your name, title, contact information, education and relevant experience, skills, licensing and credentials. Then write an introduction that describes your background and why you would be a good fit for the position.
Once you have broken down the job description into something that can be understood and written, it’s time to come up with a title. Remember that the title is the first impression of the letter so make sure it is something that shows how you stand apart from the rest of the competition. Some people may opt to use their full name, while others may choose to use initials, nickname, or even a funny saying. Any time you can find a way to express your enthusiasm, make it count.
Next, identify strengths and weaknesses. Be sure to acknowledge all of the great achievements and accomplishments you’ve had in the past so you are not losing credibility. Then identify your top skills and areas for improvement. This part of the letter will be critical because it will help you build your confidence and demonstrate your commitment to doing the best job possible. Finally, make sure you demonstrate that you’re on the same page when it comes to the hiring manager’s expectations. If they want to see more proof of your potential for success, then show them by putting your own personal touch to the letter. Remember that the letter is not just a formal communication, but something that will become a lasting impression on the hiring manager.
In conclusion, a well-written letter can impress anyone. The key is to get started on it early enough that you can focus on what you want to say and stay focused. Give yourself plenty of time to write so you don’t burn out before you have fully committed to your goals.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions or expand on anything you feel the hiring manager needs to know. It’s always easier to have things spelled out for you than to explain it after you’ve already hired. Following these tips will make it easier to craft a professional looking letter that will bring in the job interview and get you a new job!