How To: Put Together a Written Reference

As we’ve mentioned in a few of our previous posts, employer recommendations are rather important when it comes to applying for a new position; a positive and professional reference can be the most valuable tool for a job-seeker as a glowing report can convince prospective employers to say YES!

If you’ve been asked to write a reference by a current or previous employee – and are struggling – have a read of these pointers…

– Ensure the letter is on your company letterhead, includes the date, address of potential employer, your contact address, and is addressed to the candidate’s potential supervisor or the HR dept.

– The letter should be between one and two pages in length.

– Understand the job for which you will be recommending them – you need to make sure that the information you provide is of relevance.

– The body of the letter should be roughly 2-3 paragraphs long and cover the following:

  • The duration of time you’ve known them
  • In what capacity you worked together
  • How they contributed to your company or projects
  • Their skill-base and experience
  • Brief overview of their performance review results
  • How they could benefit the new company

– Summarise that you highly recommend the person (if you do) and offer to make yourself available should the potential employer have any further questions (if you’re OK with that).

– And, last but not least, print and then sign your name to verify the reference.


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