Good reference letters are personal and unique. They tell stories about relationships and provide a sense of who you are. When asking your friends and colleagues to write wonderful things about you, consider the following:
1) How long have they known you?
2) How did you meet?
3) Why do they think you’ll be a great addition to the co-op?
4) Is there a story they can share that sums up the essence of your character?
5) If they have experience with co-ops, indicate this in the letter. (Maybe they have served on a board or they are currently living in a co-op.)
6) Provide a phone number where they can be reached for further information.
7) Have the letter written on nice stationary with company (or personal) letterhead.
8) Shorter is not always better in the case of reference letters. It should appear that time was spent on the reference.
It is always a good idea to get a couple extra letters. Be certain that each one gives the board as clear a sense of ‘you’ as possible. Set the stage for a fantastic interview, and move along to closing!
For a slew of sample personal and professional reference letters, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.