How to Write an Employee Reference

References help to understand the employment verification and the candidate’s working style, performance, strengths, and qualifications from another experienced manager to better judge if they are the right fit for the organisation.


An employee referral program is also a program that companies and organizations use to find talented people by asking their existing employees to recommend candidates from their existing networks. It is important to know how to write an reference letter when requested.

The employee reference letter should only include relevant information, formatted per the guidelines of the company the person applied to.

It is the document that expresses the person’s work ethic, abilities, and achievements during their time at the company. This type of letter is commonly written by a manager, supervisor, human resource employee, or mentor of the employee requesting the letter for an employee reference letter.


The 3 Types of Employee Reference Letters

Generally, there are three types of employee reference letters that employees seek from employers. They are the following:


1. Employment Reference

An employment reference letter informs the potential employer why they are a good fit. This type of reference letter can also be used on personal websites for recruiters and hiring managers to see.


2. Academic Reference

Candidates seeking entry into a university program might require an academic reference letter. Admission boards use academic reference letters to determine if students are a good fit for the program.


3. Character Reference

A character reference is needed when applying for a high-level position or seeking entrance into a professional organization. An employer should only write a character reference letter if they have a close personal relationship with the employee. In this way, they can accurately describe the employee’s personality.


How to Write an Employee Reference

Here is a  list of tips to follow while writing a reference letter:


How to Write an Employee Reference


1. Prioritize the Job Description

Ask the employee for the job description, where they applied for a new job. Review the description and jot down how the employee will be a match for the position.


2. Collect Information about the Person

Before writing the reference, collecting information about a person the skills, capabilities, and everything are required to jot down a good reference.

Have a copy of the CV of the person, so they get an idea of the roles and responsibilities that the person took on in the earlier company, and the skills of the person.


3. Introduce Yourself and Position

You need to introduce yourself at the beginning of the reference, as well as give the current position you’re working in at the organization and the relevant information to be shared with the employer.


4. Share Your Contact Details

Provide a way for the employer to contact you if they have any further questions. Include the email, phone number, or both in the employee reference letter.


5. Follow the Guidelines

The guidelines for writing an employee reference letter template differ between organizations. The employee reference letter template should follow these guidelines in order to process the information by the employer.


6. Include Specific Examples

Specific examples of the person’s character during a situation in a reference letter reflect well on their character, and how they reacted to a situation. Relevant examples potentially help the employer to understand how the employee handles the situations when they face them in the organization.


7. Key Achievements

Achievements are key to showcasing your skills and abilities to the employer, and it is an important part of any person. Previous workplace achievements can also be highlighted to show that the person has already excelled well in that area, and does not need much training or development programs to improve in those areas.


8. Be Positive

Highlight the person as a strong candidate and emphasize the good characteristics of the person in the beginning and conclusion of the reference.

The statements in the reference letter should not refer to complaints or difficulties that have not been raised with the employee.


9. Highlight Experience

This encompasses how the work itself is structured, as well as the structure of the systems and processes that employees participate in to fulfill their roles and responsibilities.


10. Signature

At the end of the reference letter, the signature is important to have to show that the letter is approved or authorized by you to give the reference letter to the person for a purpose.


Frequently Asked Question

1. Who should you use as a reference?

You should choose someone who has supervised you professionally, or who has worked closely with you. A manager, supervisor, or even a co-worker from a casual job may be able to speak to your work habits or transferable skills.


2. How do you write a positive reference?

Highlight the strong characteristics of the person. A positive reference should also include the words in the beginning and conclusion of the reference.


3. Can a character reference letter be from a friend?

Character reference letters can be composed of close relatives, colleagues, neighbors, and other social contacts. If you are asked to write a character reference letter for your friend, you should know it would be likely included as an important part of their job application. The character reference letter has to be honest.


Closing Thoughts

Employee reference letters are documents to express the person’s abilities and capabilities, and everything must be written out for a good reference letter. Generally, there are three types of employee reference letters, which are employment reference, academic reference, and character reference letter.

An employment reference letter template is used for a potential employer to learn why the employee is a good fit for the organization. The academic reference letter template is for students applying to universities. A character reference letter template is for when you apply for a high position, or for seeking entry into a professional organization.

The writing for employee reference letters must include the keywords mentioned in the job descriptions for matching the job requirements. The employee reference letter must include only relevant information and must follow the guidelines issued by the company to which the person applied.



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