Intro: What is a Reference Letter?
So you’ve been asked to compose a reference letter for a former employee, and you are at a lost of where to begin. Initially, you will need to remind yourself of the purpose of the recommendation. A reference letter serves as a vehicle for you to personally and positively express your former employee’s skills and strengths. Remember, the intent behind the letter is to boost your former employee’s chances of succeeding in his or her new direction. If you find yourself experiencing difficulties focusing on the individual’s strengths, then it is best to politely decline the request for a recommendation (Doyle,Alison, 2017; Doyle, Alison, 2016).
Tips for Writing a Reference Letter:
Now that you have determined whether or not you can compose a reference letter that is personal and reflects the individual’s strengths, your next step is to write the document. Below are a few researched tips and tricks for determining what content should appear in your reference letter.
1. Do not hesitate to ask for a copy of the job description(s): Acquiring a copy of the position(s) the individual intends to apply for allows for you to better understand which skills and achievements you should focus on to best aid your former employee (Doyle,Alison, 2017; Doyle, Alison, 2016).
2. Focus on the job description: Relating the individual’s skills to the provided job description is the most effective method of ensuring a positive impact on the hiring manager’s impression of the candidate (insert citations).
3. Highlight the individual’s ability to successfully complete the required duties: By putting the focus of the recommendation on how efficiently the current applicant can complete the duties asked, will help to effectively communicate the skill of the individual(Doyle,Alison, 2017; Doyle, Alison, 2016).
4. Get specific: When writing a personalized reference letter, it is best to demonstrate the competency of the candidate through the use of specific examples. For example, it is far more effective to describe how Jane Doe truly excels in leadership positions by showcasing the success of a project that she led (Doyle,Alison, 2017; Doyle, Alison, 2016).
5. </strong> Use business letter format: </strong> By using a business format when composing a reference letter you ensure to maintain a level of professionalism (Doyle,Alison, 2017; Doyle, Alison, 2016).
How to Write a Good Reference Letter:
Now that you have all of the materials and information needed to compose your reference letter it is time to write the document. In the examples below Jane Doe will be the applicant. Before beginning the letter for Jane, she was asked to provide a copy of the job description(s) for the position(s)she would like a reference for. Once the job description had been reviewed thoroughly specific examples as to how Jane will be the perfect candidate for the position are sprinkled throughout the letter. Furthermore, Jane’s ability to effectively complete the duties of her endeavors will be highlighted throughout the reference. Most importantly, the letter will be positive in nature as to best ease the hiring manager’s mind as to whether or not Jane would be a suitable candidate for the position. Lastly, for a final touch of professionalism, the letter will be formatted according to business standards. To conclude, below will be a template for references completed using snail mail and followed by a sample letter. Finally, the example recommendation will be converted to an email format.
__________ (your name)
__________ (your company’s address)
__________ (your email)
___-____— _____ (your work number)
_______ (name of person addressing)
_______ (his/her address)
_______ (date the letter was written)
Dear Mr./Ms./Mrs._______ (name of individual addressing)
_______(Employee’s name) has been an essential part team player for our company between the years xxxx — xxxx(insert years the employee worked for the company. During his/her time with us, ____ (candidate’s name)has demonstrated outstanding _____ (insert skill(s)). In addition to his/her ability to ____ (reiterate skills), ___ (candidate’s name)has also shown that he/she possesses an innate talent for ______ (insert are where the employee excelled).
During the ____ (length of time the employee worked for your company)____ (candidate’s name)has been with us, he/she has ___________________ (mention accomplishment). _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ (discuss accomplishment).
I would highly recommend _____ (applicant’s name) for any future endeavors he/she may choose to pursue. His/her skills will be an asset to any company he/she chooses to align with. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any further questions regarding _______ (candidate’s name)eligibility at either __________ (insert your email address) or _____- ____-______ (your phone number).
_______ Handwritten signature
_______ Electronic signature
Example Using Template
123 Main Street
Unknown City, State, Zip Code
Mystery City, State, Zip Code
Written August 10, 2017
Dear Ms.Mary Jones,
Jane Doe has been an essential team player for our company between the years 2010-2017. During her time with us, Jane Doe has demonstrated outstanding verbal and written communication skills. In addition to her ability to communicate clearly and concisely, Jane has also shown that she possesses an innate talent when placed in leadership positions.
During the seven years Jane has been with our company, she has led numerous successful projects. Jane commended a team of several assistants and accountants in an effort to increase company profits by fifty percent. Her and the team’s efforts proved highly successful with an increase in profits of fifty-two percent.
I would highly recommend Jane for any future endeavors she may choose to pursue. Her skills will be an asset to any company she chooses to align with. Please do not hesitate to contact my with any further questions regarding Jane’s eligibility at either [email protected] or 123-456-7890.
John Smith’s handwritten signature
Dear Mr./Ms./Mrs. _________ (Name of hiring/human resources manager/individual the letter is being addressed to),
I am writing you today in regard to the application of _____________ (name of applicant for which the recommendation is being written for). Working with _______ the last _______ (however long the candidate worked for your company) has been a true pleasure. His/Her work ethic and skills have been absolutely invaluable to our company. I would like to recommend _________ (applicant’s name) on the behalf of _________ (name of your company).
_______ (Name of individual who the recommendation is for)has been an asset for ________ (insert name of your company.) He/She has demonstrated his/her skills in _______, ________, ________, and ______ (insert area(s) for which the individual has performed exceptionally while with your company). ________ (name of candidate) has further developed his/her ________ (insert skill(s) mentioned previously)whilst __________ (elaborate on a project the candidate was responsible for).
I would highly recommend _______ (candidate’s name)in any direction he/she chooses to pursue. While I am sad to see him/her leave, I highly recommend ________ (applicant’s name) for the _________ (insert position title) position. If you have any further questions about the eligibility of ________ (candidate’s name) please feel free to contact me at either ____________ (your email address) or ____-_____-______ (your work number).
_______________ (electronic signature of authoritative individual)