Write a story

11Oct07

There are still people coming here searching for how to write a reference. Well, let me tell you one thing – if you can learn to write a story, you can write a good reference too. You see, a reference flows just like a story does.

It often has the same parts of it and souvent the best references happen to be simple stories. Anyway, let me repeat it.

If you can write a good story, you can write a good reference.

How do you write a good story? Well, go to this How To Write a Story site. Read it. There you go. When you know how to write a story, you know how to write a reference.

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Still looking for info about how to write a reference? Well, you’re in for a treat. Let me explain the process. So, it goes like that.

First, you read some information about this (you have already found this site so you’re on the right track). Then, go to step two – read examples. For student applications, I have found a good book. How to Write Powerful Letters of Recommendation

Finally –Write it. The first two steps are optional. This isn’t. Write it, write it, write it.

I know I am posting this again but people still do not get it. I can’t stress this enough. Wanna learn how to write a reference? Start writing it. C’est tout.


We have talked about how to write a reference but we have not talked about how to write it fast. When you’re in a need of time, you may wanna use this skill.
Really, there are many ways to do it, but you can use this 2-step formula. And if it does not work, use the killer tip (not like a real killer tip, just a very good tip).

1. Ask what the new job/college degree will be on. Then, write how the applicant deals with the subject in your company. Say it’s tax-inspector (booh), write how well he deals with the taxes then.

2. Describe the applicant is like. Is he intelligent? Persistant? Competitive? Pick one skill and quickly write an example how he has been demonstrating it.

THE killer tip:
If you’re stuck, just cheat. If you don’t have time, tell the person who wants to get the reference to write it himself, then get it and rephrase it in your own words. Then sign it. Voila, so easy.


Writing a reference letter, how do you think, what is the biggest mistake people make?

Hey, I have not invented this. However, people often ask this and I can affirm there is a single mistake that people most often make writing a reference.

You see, if this was an old e-book, we would be continuing this and “writing around” for hours. But now we are just going to give you this mistake. The biggest single mistake that most people who write a reference make is…

They don’t know how to write!

Seriously, that is all it is. This is a Gary Halbert kind of answer, but it doesn’t matter. That is the truth. Gary had it and it’s still true.

Now, how do you avoid this mistake? Learn to write. How do you do that? Well, that’s why we are here for.


If you are reading advice on how to write a reference, you have probably agreed to write one already. But there are a couple of points you must know.

Almost everytime, there always is something worth mentioning in the letter. There are two cases, when it’s of applicant’s interest not to have a reference written by you.
1) When you can’t come up with anything to write about him, i.e. you don’t know him enough, you have a writer’s block (that’s why these articles are here), etc.
2) When you can’t or don’t want to come up with anything possitive about this person.

If we talk about the first case, you have to either know him better or find out more about the writing process and you will do well. If it’s the second case, you should take it mind that a reference does not always have to be 100% possitive.
But there still are cases, when you can’t write it? Okay. Decline the offer. But what if you have already agreed? Well, here are a few ways you can use to politely decline and get off the trouble of writing the reference. You can say:

“Dear Applicant, I know I have agreed about writing a reference for you, but I have given it much consideration and I realised that I don’t have enough qualifications and I am not familiar enough with your work and background to write you a reference. I am sorry.”

If that’s too formal for you, here is another way;

“Hey dude, I’ve said I’d to write the reference & stuff but it downed on me I don’t know you. Sorry.”

Anything goes. Just take into consideration one thing – the best way to decline writing the letter is to tell you don’t know his work enough. That is valid in more than 70 percent of all cases and that will save time and hurt feeling for everyone.


As simple as it may be, the question was – what is better, a personal greeting or a “To Whom It May Concern” salutation.
I have interviewed an expert, and he simply said – a personal greeting.

(“To Whom It May Concern” sounds cooler, though, but don’t give in just because of that).

Here, now you know. Simple.


Really, that has nothing to do with how to write a reference, just thought you might find that interesting.

Well, the judge news story has it.
It didn’t work out as well this time, though.

The judge was amonished. Bad luck.
You know how many of these judges get away with it, though?