If you're writing a generic letter, use "To Whom It May Concern" instead of a salutation. The first paragraph of the recommendation letter describes the goal of the letter as well as your relationship to the person you are suggesting, including how long you have known them. It should also include some discussion of their work history and skills that are relevant to the job being applied for.
For example, if you are recommending someone for a research assistant position at your university, you would begin the letter by explaining why you are writing it (i.e., because they asked me to). You would then go on to say something like: "I have known [name] since she was a student in my introductory statistics class several years ago. She has done extremely well in her studies ever since and I think she would make an excellent candidate for this position."
The second paragraph usually gives a brief overview of the person being recommended, including any achievements that relate to the position being applied for. For example, if they are applying for a research assistant position at your university, you could mention in the second paragraph that they have published several articles recently in top journals.
The third paragraph gives a detailed description of the person's work habits, abilities, and skills that are relevant to the job being applied for.
Please be as descriptive as possible. The first paragraph of the reference letter describes your relationship to the individual you are recommending, including how you know them and why you are qualified to write a reference letter for work or graduate school. You may want to include any relevant experience you have had that would be helpful in making your recommendation.
It is recommended that you write two reference letters per candidate. One general letter that can be used for any job opening and one more specific letter if necessary. It is important to remember that while giving references, it is not appropriate to share confidential information about an employee or former employee. All references should be written on letterhead and sent by mail or email as specified by the job applicant.
The first paragraph of the reference letter should include:
Full name and address of reference recipient
Position being referenced
Date of reference
Type of reference required (i.e., professional or personal)
Reason for writing the reference letter (optional)
Include phone number where reference can be reached (optional)
Reference recipient's name may be included if you know him/her personally.
If the intended recipient's identity is unclear, the following salutations are acceptable: Dear Sir or Madam (if the gender of the reader is unknown).
Letter that begins "to whom it may concern" and concludes "sincerely, yours truly"
All personal reference letters should include the following five elements:
The salutation should be official, with "Dear" followed by the person's complete name. Begin the introductory paragraph of the argument letter by outlining the purpose of the letter. The first paragraph also expresses your point of view and how you want the problem resolved. In the second paragraph, give more details about what has already been done or tried without success.
Next, explain why you are writing now. This will help get your point across and show that you are not just making assumptions based on past behavior. List several reasons why the situation requires action now. Make sure to include any relevant information in this part of the letter.
Finally, ask for what you want. Ask for a response either immediately or within a specified time frame. If you don't get a response, follow up with another letter.
To finish the argumentative letter, express confidence that the recipient will agree with your point of view and conclusions. Thank them for their time.
An example of a formal argumentative letter is provided below.
To ensure legibility, choose a common typeface such as Times New Roman and black ink. Use a courtesy title, such as Mr. , Mrs. , and address the other person by name. If you're writing to a firm or don't know who will see it, start with "To Whom it May Concern" or "Dear Sir or Madam."
The beginning of your letter should include when and where the incident occurred, what authority you have over the matter, and a brief explanation of why you are contacting them. You can use these sections of your letter to explain that there has been an accident, for example, or request their assistance with something. The more details you provide at the beginning, the easier it will be for the recipient to answer your questions and deal with the incident properly.
After giving all the relevant information, move on to your main purpose for contacting them. Be clear and concise and keep your message positive and friendly. End with a polite closing such as "Sincerely," "Respectfully," or "Complimentarily."
Your letter should not exceed one page in length including header information. If you need to write longer letters, then they should be divided into multiple emails.
It is advisable to send copies of all correspondence to one or more additional people, especially if you want them to take action. This could be a manager, lawyer, insurance company -- anyone who might help resolve the issue faster or avoid further problems down the road.