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How to Write a Letter Verifying You Know a Person

by Robert Lee

A letter of verification allows you to vouch for someone's identity and also provide a character reference. The letters are helpful when a friend or acquaintance is looking for a job or a place to live or is applying for admission to a school or social organization. Verification letters are simple documents but do require some consideration. Some of your reputation is invested in the letter as you confirm that you know the person and what you think of her. Consider writing these letters only for people you trust and know well.

Speak with your friend about the verification and what the letter is supposed to accomplish, such as providing a character reference as your friend applies for a job with a nonprofit organization. Get the name and address for the intended recipient and double-check names and titles.

Write a simple letter less than a page long. Use an easygoing conversational tone as you write the letter. In the first paragraph write that you are proud to write the verification letter and that you know the person well.

In the next paragraph describe how you know the person and how long you have known her. Then list interesting traits or anecdotes appropriate for the opportunity the person is seeking. But do not inflate the person's abilities or qualifications.

End the letter with a closing such as, "Yours truly."

References

  • "The Business Letter Handbook"; Michael Muckian, et al.; 1996

Photo Credits

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