Very often people use these terms interchangeably. However, they’re making a big mistake when they do so, because there’s a huge difference between recommendation and reference letters. Recommendation letters are specific in nature and are usually written to promote a particular individual. However, reference letters have a broader spectrum and consists of letters written in, what you say – a more general nature? They are almost always addressed in the following way:
To whomsoever it may concern,
……… till the final salutation and signature.
Both letters are different in just a few ways literally; but, practically speaking, like I said, they’re comparable to chalk and cheese and therefore, you should know what to write, how to write it and when to write it. These facts will be explained later in this very article.
But, for now let’s take a look at the similarities between the two; because, you shouldn’t leave out any of these key points on the pretext that they don’t belong in your letter. Both these letters – recommendation letters as well as reference letters speak of ones skills, character, capabilities, interests, integrity as well as abilities and the way you react under pressure (In case it’s a letter for a job post).