How To Write A Reference Letter For A Friend – A Comprehensive Writing Guide 2023

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    Anjit.V.S founder of Infig Content Hub is a writer and an academic documentation expert. Over the years, he has written documents for thousands of students and hundreds of businesses and individuals worldwide.

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    Are you feeling unsure about how to write a reference letter for a friend? Well, your worry can be valid especially if you have no prior experience writing a reference letter. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! This blog will clarify all your questions and help you navigate the process confidently and effectively. Whether you’re writing a reference letter for your friend or need one on behalf of yourself, this guide will assist you every step of the way.

    In this blog, we will address a number of key topics including:

    • How to write a recommendation letter for a friend? 
    • What points to include in it and how to format it? 
    • A well-crafted sample reference letter for a friend to use as a reference point. 

    What Is a Recommendation Letter for a Friend? Why Does It Matter?

    A recommendation letter for a friend is an official document written by an individual on behalf of his/her friend. It covers various aspects of the person such as their background, skills and personality. A true friend can be a reflection of an individual. Hence, a reference letter for a friend has got high significance.

    • It serves as an endorsement of an individual’s personality traits. 
    • It helps verify the qualification and skills of an individual. 
    • It demonstrates how an individual differs from others 
    • It provides an outside perspective about a person. 

    Key Questions To Consider Before Writing A Reference For A Friend

    Here are five key questions that may help you while writing a recommendation letter for a friend.

    What is the purpose of this letter?

    Try to know the exact purpose of the letter from your friend who has requested you for the reference letter. Is it for a job, higher study admission, or a personal recommendation? It is important to tailor the letter to a specific purpose.

    Am I the right person to write this letter?

    Once you know what the letter is for, ask yourself whether you are the right person to write it. Even if you share a friendship, you may not be familiar with certain aspects about a friend, about which the recipient of the letter would expect clarity.

    What sort of information that I know about my friend should be highlighted?

    As a friend, you may have a wealth of information about a friend. You are not expected to write all of it because a reference letter needs to be short and concise. Shortlist four to five points covering different aspects of your friend such as character, skill, qualification and potential.

    Do I have concrete examples to provide as proof for what I write?

    It is important to prove that the information you provide in the reference letter for your friend is genuine. For that, you should provide concrete examples demonstrating the skills, potentials, achievements and other areas.

    Can I write this letter with honesty and integrity?

    Writing a reference letter for a friend should be done with total honesty and integrity. If you can’t write it by maintaining these qualities, politely decline the request to write it.

    What Do Admission Officers Expect To See In a Reference Letter for a Friend

    Ensure that the letter meets the expectations of the admission officer by complying with the following points.

    • A clear account of the relationship between the referee and the applicant 
    • Readability – the letter must be easy to read and understand
    • Use of a legitimate format and structure 
    • Inclusion of relevant points touching various aspects of the candidate
    • Examples that help to prove the information in the letter is true.

    How Long Should Your Recommendation Letter for a Friend Be?

    Depending on the referee’s way of presenting the points, the size of a reference letter for a friend for a job or higher education can vary. However, it is good to keep your letter short and concise and relevant to the context. Here are some widely approved guidelines.

    Word Limit

    400 - 500 words

    Character count:

    2000 to 2500

    Paragraph count

    3 to 6

    Font style

    Times New Roman/Ariel/Serif

    Font size

    12 Points


    Left-indent the first line of each paragraph

    Line spacing

    1.5 or Double Line

    Letter Of Recommendation for a Friend Example

    Here is a sample letter of recommendation for a friend to help you get a quick overview of the expectations.

    Dear Admissions Committee,

    I am writing to recommend Lisa for admission to your college. I have known Lisa for five years, as we were classmates during our high school years. I have had the pleasure of watching her grow and develop into a mature, responsible and driven young woman.

    Lisa has always demonstrated an exceptional work ethic and a strong commitment to her studies. She consistently pushed herself to excel academically and has achieved outstanding grades throughout her high school career. She is not only intelligent but also very curious, always seeking to learn more and expand her knowledge.

    In addition to her academic accomplishments, Lisa is also a natural leader and a team player. She is a collaborative and supportive individual who is always willing to help others. She has been an active member of our school’s debate team, where she has demonstrated excellent critical thinking and communication skills.

    Lisa also has a passion for community service and has volunteered with several local organizations. She is a compassionate individual who is always looking for ways to give back and make a positive impact on those around her.

    Overall, I have no doubt that Lisa will be an asset to your college community. She is a bright, dedicated, and motivated student with a strong sense of purpose and a desire to make a difference in the world. I wholeheartedly recommend her for admission and believe that she will excel in all of her future endeavors.

    Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions about Lisa or my recommendation.



    How to Use Reference Letter Examples for Friend?

    Use the letter of recommendation for a friend example we have given as a reference point to understand

    • How to begin a short reference letter for a friend? 
    • How to develop the main body and what kinds of information to include? 
    • How to format and structure the reference letter? 
    • What should be the writing tone? 
    • How to conclude the letter and where to write the contact details? 

    Writing a Character Reference for a Friend in Six Simple Steps

    Write the header:

    Write your Name, Address and Date at the top left. Below that write the Name and Address of the recipient. Leave a space and then write an appropriate salutation to address the recipient and the subject or purpose of the letter [Re: Reference letter for (Friend’s Name)]

    Write the introduction:

    Next, write an introduction explaining why you are writing this letter, for how long you have been friends and what you know about the person and their potential. Mention how strongly you feel your friend is ideal for the given job/admission.

    Develop body paragraphs:

    Depending on the number of points you wish to include, decide how many paragraphs you want to add. Touch upon different aspects of the person such as his personality, skills and potential to succeed in the given job or higher study program.

    Write a conclusion:

    Write a conclusion strongly reiterating your support for your friend and emphasising that he is cut out for the given role. Mention that you are ready to be contacted for any further clarifications. Add your email address or phone number for the same.

    Proofread and validate the letter:

    After finishing the writing, take some time to carefully proofread the letter. Make sure that your points are relevant and content is readable. Also, ensure that the letter has been formatted and structured in compliance with institute guidelines.

    Submit the letter:

    Ask your friend about the reference letter submission procedure. In some cases, the institutes or organizations expect the referee to send the letter directly to them by email. Follow the submission guidelines correctly.

    Who Should Write an LOR for a Friend?

    Although you can consider any of your friends to write a letter of recommendation for you, it is advisable to choose someone who can write insightfully about your skills, character and potential. As such, here are some people you can consider for it. 

    • Colleagues or co-workers 
    • Friends from the most recent school or college 
    • Supervisors or mentors with whom you share a personal bond 

    Final Checklist To Validate Your Reference Letter For A Friend

    Is the recommendation letter you have written for your friend impactful? Wait a minute. Here are a few points to validate the letter. If all of these boxes tick, you are good to go.

    • Have I clearly stated how I know this person, how long and why I recommend him/her? 
    • Have I got familiar with proper LOR writing procedures and practices by reading examples of personal reference letters for a friend? 
    • Have I touched upon multiple areas of the person like character, strengths, potential and appropriateness for the role? 
    • Have I provided sufficient contextual information and made sure that the LOR meets the relevance or specific purpose? 
    • Have I managed to make the letter seem positive, pleasant and enthusiastic? 
    • Have I mentioned my contact details and shown willingness for any further correspondence? 

    Pro Tips For A Killer Reference Letter for a Friend

    • Use a mix of friendly and professional language to keep the letter engaging and serious. 
    • Be honest about what you write in the letter. 
    • Do not write the letter in a hurry since that can affect the quality of writing. 
    • Do not modify the personal recommendation letter sample for a friend
    • Try to provide a balanced approach by slightly touching on areas to improve. 
    • Customize the letter to the recipient and the purpose. 
    • Do not mention anything that potentially harms the credibility of the candidate. 
    • Keep your letter focused on the purpose by making an outline first. 
    • Do not stuff in numerous points or irrelevant information. 
    • Solidify the authenticity and credibility of the letter by including examples. 

    Closing Thoughts

    As we wrap up, we are curious to know how helpful this blog was. Have you found the tips and information helpful in learning how to write a strong reference letter for a friend? Was the sample reference letter for a friend given along useful to get familiar with writing tone and structure? Whatever your thoughts, feedback or suggestions are, we welcome you to write them in the comments below.