Letter for employee references

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Letter for employee references

You may be asked to write a letter for employee references for someone who works for you in a company, or for someone who has carried out some work for you as part of an external company or organisation. Based on your knowledge of their work and abilities, you can write them a letter of reference for a job.

Note that with current legislation you should assume that they will see this letter at some point, even if you send it directly to their prospective employers, so you should not write anything about them you are not happy for the world to see. A letter for employee references is a powerful tool, and should not be written and given lightly. Your recommendation and reputation is on the line!

We have written an example letter of recommendation for job which illustrates a number of important features in the format for a reference letter. Our format for a reference letter can be used and altered as required. The reference letter examplesc illustrate several aspects to consider.

Format for a reference letter

Who are you recommending? If you are to write a reference letter for a job for someone, it is important that you identify clearly who that person is. You might want to include their current occupation, position or letters of qualification in their title.

What is your relationship to them? Are you their boss or line manager? Have they carried out work for you? You should know the person well, and have seen them perform under a range of conditions.

What aspect of their character or ability do you wish to recommend? A letter for employee references usually describes someone's character and ability. You could be saying they are

  • reliable - what they say they will do they do
  • considerate - not self-obsessed but thoughtful of others
  • honest, and of good judgement (as far as you know)
  • intelligent
  • self-starting
  • can work independently
  • can be a team player
  • tidy and clean worker - cleared up at the end of the day
  • they were good at their job and provided good service or good workmanship
  • they completed their work on time and in a good manner

Example letter of recommendation for job


When writing a letter for employee references, the first consideration is who to address it to. This will usually be stated in the letter requesting you reference. You can use 'Dear Sir', 'Dear Madam', 'To whom it may concern.

Your letter should state how you know the person, outline their qualities. The information to be supplied may be set out precisely by the person requesting the reference.

You may find it useful to offer to answer further questions if requested

Close the letter formally using 'Yours faithfully'.

Format for a reference letter


23 High Street
New Town
Ph. 01234 123456
Email. another@newtownweb.com

June 3rd 2008

Dear Sir

I am pleased to write this letter of recommendation for Andrew Other. I have known Andrew as an employee for five years, and have found him to be a reliable and conscientious person. He has worked for me on a number of projects, and has always been reliable and honest.

I have also found Andrew to be an intelligent individual, who is willing to take the lead in situations when required. His good judgement has been important on several occasions, and his initiative has been of great value in completing work successfully and on time. Andrew is also able to work well as a team player, and has excellent social skills.

In short, I would recommend Andrew as a trustworthy person who can be relied upon when life gets difficult, and he will prove to be a valued employee.

Please feel free to contact me regarding this recommendation if required.

Yours faithfully

John T Smith


Our reference letter examplesc can be edited as required, but should provide a good format for a reference letter. Any letter for employee references you need can be based around a core letter, and altered to personalise it as appropriate.


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