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What is the best way to write a volunteer reference letter?

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Quick Answer

To write a volunteer reference letter, initially identify basics about the volunteer, for example, name, relationship and length of time known. Professors writing reference letters for former students must include academic performance, that is, whether the student received an A in class or how well the student ranked alongside other students. The letters must be personal and original, because the goal is to help students reach their goals; however, if a personal association wasn't established, stick to being respectful and presenting the hard facts, such as the student's GPA.

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Full Answer

Describe in-depth how the relationship with the volunteer was established and what it's been like. Provide examples of specific projects and events the volunteer worked on and in what capacity. For example, a teacher might mention how the volunteer participated in a study-abroad class in a developing nation and volunteered to assist other students under very harsh circumstances.

Evaluate the volunteer and include likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, among other factors that an organization would want to know about. For example, if an individual participated in a study-abroad program, the teacher might mention that the volunteer is tenacious and doesn't back down from a challenge. Conclude the letter with a personal recommendation.

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