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Employee Reference Letter Template

Use this reference letter sample when a colleague, former team member, student, or acquaintance asks you for a personal recommendation.

Employee reference letter - mobile view

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The purpose of a reference letter is to endorse someone and to provide a complete overview of their skills, ability, knowledge, and character. Usually, a reference letter is required during a job or an academic application.

What should you include in the reference letter template?

A reference letter needs to provide context on who you are and what connection you have to the person you are recommending.

Be sure to include information on why said person is qualified and list details regarding his or her specific skills. Add your contact information if the company or school needs to contact you with follow-up questions.

What really makes a reference letter for employee is honesty. It’s not just about talking up a candidate, but the reference letter reflects on you as well. Therefore don’t write a glowing reference letter for an employee if you don’t know the candidate well or think they’re right for the position. However, don’t be overly negative or add faults/weaknesses he or she may have.

Follow these simple rules when writing a reference letter:

  1. If you didn’t work closely with the candidate or some time has passed, you might need a refresher. You can look at their employee record or consult with HR to recall their job title, who they worked with, employment length, and what they worked on. If you keep personal records on your own, look at these too. It’s important to keep the reference letter honest so don’t just make it up if you can’t remember or are in a rush, wait until you have half an hour and really look at what they did for your company.
  2. List two or three qualities that offer genuine characteristics of the candidate. If you are able to recall specific examples that truly prove these qualities, add them in the reference letter.
  3. Recall specific experiences you shared with the candidate. Especially moments when the candidate shined and include at least one example of such. Whether it was bringing in large sales, contributing directly to customer satisfaction, solving a problem, or exhibiting a positive attitude.
  4. Refer to our reference letter template in order to craft your own reference letter.

Reference Letter Template

Dear Mrs. James,

It is my pleasure to recommend Blake Lively as a candidate at your company. For the last seven years, she has worked as an assistant in my office and has excelled in this role. In my 20 years with Deadpool, I have never seen anyone with as much as productivity and can-go attitude as Blake. She produced high quality work and always went above and beyond when asked.

As an employee, Blake proved to be reliable and resourceful. I ask my employees to possess initiative and willingness to learn, and that is something she delivered time and time again. An example is when we held a monthly meeting with senior managers so that “lower-tier” employees had the opportunity to ask questions, pitch ideas and so on. Blake took charge and presented fresh, exciting ideas almost every month.

To conclude, Blake is a pleasure to work with – a true team player with a positive attitude that influences others. I do not hesitate in recommending her to join your team, and I wouldn’t hesitate to hire her all over again if the opportunity arose.

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have further questions, I am available at 123-456-7890.


Ryan Reynolds

CEO, Deadpool


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Easily create a reference letter through our checklists, forms and reports function. Either begin from scratch or edit an existing template, it’s that easy to get a reference letter done. In addition, choose from numerous field options, like free text, image uploads, document scanner, digital signature, and more.

Share the reference letter with an email address or from a list of contacts. Once you send, your entry is generated to a PDF file which you can choose to download, share or print.

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