Reference Letter vs Letter of Recommendation

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Reference Letter vs Letter of Recommendation

Reference letters and Letters of Recommendation are mandatory requirements for your application process. But do you know that knowing the right time to use both letters can increase your chances of getting a particular position? Many people confuse a Reference Letter and a Letter of Recommendation as the same. This usually happens because ‘Reference’ and ‘Recommendation’ share a similar meaning. However, that is not the case. A reference letter is more general in nature while a letter of recommendation puts more emphasis on your skills and knowledge. Let’s dive more into the Reference Letter vs Letter of Recommendation debate and find out what makes them different from each other.

What is a Reference Letter?

In simple words, a Reference Letter is an endorsement of a person’s character in general. It is an overall assessment of a person’s characteristics, work ethic, abilities, skills and knowledge. It shows that the writer can support your performance or predictive performance. 

What is a Letter of Recommendation?

A Letter of Recommendation demonstrates your skills, knowledge, experience and abilities that qualify person for a particular opportunity, for example, a role within an organisation or admission to a program such as MBA.

Also read: LOR Samples for Students

When to Use a Reference Letter?

A Reference Letter is used if you need a character assessment for employment or educational opportunities. You can use a Reference Letter if

  • You are applying for a job
  • A character appraisal
  • Applying for higher studies
  • General purpose applications

When to Use a Letter of Recommendation?

A Letter of Recommendation has a formal approach. It is used when requested by an employer or academic body and should be addressed to that person or organisation. It shows your performance capability in a specific field of work or academic concentration.

  • You are applying for a job
  • Requesting admission to college or university
  • To prove your performance and achievements

Also read: Professional LOR Samples

Who Writes a Reference Letter?

Ask for a Reference Letter from a trusted individual with whom you share a positive personal or professional experience. This will ensure that you will be provided with a thorough character reference. If you have graduated recently, then choose a former teacher with whom you have developed a good relationship.

Who Writes a Letter of Recommendation?

If you need a Letter of Recommendation, it’s advised to choose someone who has a great knowledge of your skills and qualifications. If you are applying to a Law firm specializing in forensic science, you can ask for a Letter of Recommendation from your professor who taught your course on forensic science.

Reference Letter Example

Source: Microsoft Office Teams – Reference letter for professional employee

Letter of Recommendation Example 

Source: Microsoft Office Teams – Letter of Recommendation

FAQs

What is a Reference Letter?

A reference Letter is an endorsement of a person’s character in general.

When to use a Letter of Recommendation?

A Reference Letter is used if you need a character assessment for employment or educational opportunities.

Who writes a Letter of Recommendation?

If you need a Letter of Recommendation, it’s advised to choose someone who has a great knowledge of your skills and qualifications.

We hope you have understood the thin difference between a Letter of Recommendation and a Reference Letter. If you are planning to study abroad then reach out to Leverage Edu Experts who will ensure that your study abroad journey is hassle-free. 

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