Sometimes a reference letter request from an old employee or associate is also known as getting a referral. Asking for a reference is simply a polite gesture of having someone who knows how you work and knows your abilities to state them to a potential employer. Usually these are helpful when an applicant is trying to fill a tough requirement position job or trying to get into a tough college with a lot of strict requirements.
Let the recipient know exactly who you are and what the point of the letter is. If the point is to get a reference for a college, then state it in the beginning.
If need be, (which this usually isn’t needed), but remind the recipient of how they know you, such as when the two of you worked together or when you were associated with one another.
Thank the recipient for their time and thank them for a recommendation, even though you don’t know if they’re going to accept your request to do so or not.
Dear Mr. Salston:
You’ve been a big inspiration to me over the years and I learned a lot from you in your classes. I was wondering if you could help me by writing a letter of reference to the Computer Science Institute here in town. They’re going to be offering a very limited number of $3,000 scholarships that I believe I could get with your recommendation.
I know without a doubt that I possess the knowledge and skills to win the $3,000 but I feel that with your help, I would have an extra chance at winning. As you know, I was one of your top students in Computer Class and demonstrated ample skill while working on the school’s infrastructure and website.
For your convenience, I included an envelope that’s already stamped and addressed to the appropriate address for the school. If you have any questions for me, want to know more about the scholarship or about the school, then please feel free to contact me at the enclosed number.