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Letter of Recommendation Or Letter of Reference – Which is It?

Letter of Recommendation Or Letter of Reference – Which is It?

Of the far more than two million annual readers to my two principal “composing help” Net sites, over 60% of them are looking for some sort of letter-creating support, and of those people, 50% are trying to find help with creating a “letter of recommendation” or “letter of reference.”

Why do so a lot of folks need aid with suggestion letters above and previously mentioned all other kinds of letters, you could possibly talk to? Very well, the key cause is this – they are BY Far the most difficult letters to compose. The key reasons are as follows:

LETTERS OF Suggestion ARE Critical

Letters of recommendation invariably have important implications for the reason that they are key to becoming accepted (or NOT) for these types of points as: positions and promotions, college or university and university system admission, membership in golf equipment and associations, qualification for awards and scholarships, fiscal help approvals, entrance into exclusive courses, and many others.

The implications for messing up a letter of suggestion can be gravely major, and can in fact alter the program of a person’s lifetime – both your very own lifestyle, or that of one more individual about whom you are producing the letter. (Just picture screwing up someone’s life since you wouldn’t choose the time or problems to get a advice letter appropriate!).

WHY SO Considerably CONFUSION?

There is a terrific deal of confusion about the entire topic of writing “suggestion letters”. Many persons have no plan of the variations and/or similarities among the numerous forms of testimonial letters: recommendation letters, letters of recommendation, reference letters, letters of reference, commendation letters, functionality analysis letters, recognition letters, etc.

So, Right before you go any more, remember to permit me briefly clarify a couple details on this entire suggestion letter and/or reference letter situation so that you never go charging down the incorrect route unnecessarily, and conclusion up with the erroneous facts about how to compose the improper sort of letter for your predicament.

It so comes about that there IS a whole lot of confusion about the discrepancies and similarities concerning letters of recommendation letters and letters of reference. For occasion which is which, and why? How are they unique? In what strategies are they very similar?

It really is complicated ample for the ordinary particular person who only has to produce one of these letters just about every once in a whilst. Even so, when you seem into it in-depth as I have, and recognize that numerous of the so-termed “specialists” do not even know the differences involving a suggestion letter and a reference letter, the basic state of confusion is very easy to understand.


Since I wrote my 1st e-book on this matter, I have been watching the whole concern thoroughly and have performed additional study, leading me to conclude the next:

o Many men and women and institutions use the expression “suggestion letter” to mean Equally letters of recommendation AND letters of reference (about 2/3).

o Many persons and establishments use the term “reference letter” to necessarily mean The two letters of reference AND letters of suggestion (about 1/3).

o Both groups are speaking about effectively the exact same type of letter in their minds and they don’t look to understand that there are important distinctions concerning the two.

o Thus, these who use the term “recommendation letter” Generally use that expression. Those people who use the expression “reference letter” Usually use that expression.

… and “in no way the twain shall meet”, as the indicating goes.

The fact is that there are TWO important categories of these types of letters: Letters of Recommendation and Letters of Reference. In just each of these categories slide a range of unique varieties of letters, differentiated mostly by the category of addressee, the level of depth lined, and the distinct intent of the letter.

Beneath is how I have described and differentiated them in my common reserve on this subject Fast Recommendation Letter Package – How To Generate Profitable Letters of Suggestion.


A “letter of suggestion” is a single that is especially requested about another person, and therefore is generally specifically resolved to a individual requestor. Commonly talking, letters of suggestion are normally employment-related, or university software admission and/or scholarship related.

Typical letters of suggestion are:

o Employment-similar recommendation letter

o College admission recommendation letter

o Commendation or recognition letter

o Performance analysis letter


A “letter of reference” is commonly more standard in mother nature and is not ordinarily tackled to a distinct requestor. Usually, “letters of reference” are resolved as “To Whom It May possibly Issue” or “Expensive Sir/Madam”.

Usual letters of reference are:

o Character evaluation reference letter

o College-associated normal reference letter

o Employment-linked typical reference letter

o General reference letters

Note of Caution:

It seems that by some means more than the years, the line amongst the two forms of letters has grow to be blurred and numerous people today and establishments now use the two terms interchangeably. As significantly as all those businesses are anxious, the two letters are accurately the similar factor.

Accordingly, you should note that numerous colleges and universities, as well as some firms and establishments, use the phrases “suggestion letter” and/or “letter of advice” when referring to precisely the very same detail as what a lot of other colleges, universities, businesses and establishments contact “reference letters” and/or “letters of reference”.

So, when working with these kinds of businesses or establishments, MAKE Certain that you use whichever phrase they use, in the very same way that they use it. Really don’t consider to transform them to your terminology. That will just confuse issues and you will fork out the rate.

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