In this short article we will present the 8 main elements of the content and structure of an effective reference letter! You can share this relevant information with your referee so that s/he can craft the best possible letter:
- At the start of the body of the letter, the referee should identify themselves and advise how s/he knows the candidate, the period in which they were in contact, their relationship and the role performed;
- The letter should only include positive information about a specific professional. Thus, any characteristics seen as negative should be avoided;
- Avoid extremes: shy away from flattery and complete impartiality;
- The selection team requests that recommendation letters focus on the competences sought by the World Bank. In addition, the referee should talk about the candidate’s integrity, their tact and diplomacy, maturity and ability to work with others. Therefore, the letter should present a summary of the individual’s competences and positive and professional aspects;
- The candidate’s competences and qualities should not just be mentioned as generic compliments, but should be discussed through concrete examples, in order to outline the individual’s true profile. These examples may take the form of the results achieved by the candidate or their performance in executing tasks;
- It is not necessary for each referee to assess the candidate in all of these aspects, but this should be possible through a combination of all three letters. In other words, it is possible that one referee will be more able to give a detailed evaluation of the candidate in one particular competence rather than another;
- A more emphatic recommendation of the individual can be made at the end of the letter; and,
- Minor points, but which are also important, are as follows: remember to put the date either at the beginning or end of the document, include a greeting to the addressee and sign the letter.
In pursuit of its mission, OpenIGO has prepared support and guidance services, with the aim of highly increasing your chances of success in these competitive selection processes. These services include revising your WBG application documents (curriculum vitae/resume and cover letter) and a mock interview, as per the WBG model. We also offer a range of packages that combine our eBook with different services.
If you like this content and want to have access to more detailed information, go to our online store to purchase the eBook! This is an investment you won’t regret!