Ball State's Career Center gives tips on writing recommendations

Topic: Student Affairs

January 25, 2008

As the spring semester begins, many students will begin turning their attention to the job search. Part of their search may include identifying faculty and staff members who can serve as positive references and writing recommendations for them.

Since crafting a reference letter can be a difficult process, the Ball State University Career Center Web site is a great resource to help make the process easier.

A reference letter should be truthful and avoid personal matters that by law should not be factors in employment (religion, race, etc.). Letters should also include the following:

  • dates and length of time you've known the candidate
  • accomplishments that you observed directly
  • estimation of candidate's strengths and experiences that are documented.

Letters typically should not exceed one page. 

Samples are available at www.naceweb.org/about/public/formemprec.htm and http://jobsearch.about.com/od/referenceletters/Sample_Reference_Letters.htm.

Additional information about serving as a reference may be found on the Career Center Web site at www.bsu.edu/students/careers/faculty/reference/.

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