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Reference Letter Sample

Write a Reference Letter for a Valued Employee

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Write a Reference Letter for a Former Employee

Write a Reference Letter for a Former Employee

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Want a reference letter sample to view as you craft your own reference letters for current and former employees? This reference letter sample gives you a guide for writing your own employee reference letters.

A reference letter is usually requested by an employee who is job searching or who must leave your organization for a reason such as a relocating spouse, returning full time to school, or experiencing serious and time-consuming family issues. The employee asks you for a reference letter so that his or her eventual job search is assisted by a positive recommendation from an employer.

Employees know that managers and supervisors change jobs and companies go out of business. Since circumstances are changing and unpredictable, employees seek reference letters to permanently document their work history.

As an employer, if you have a positive view of an employee’s work, you may choose to write a reference letter to potentially help an employee out in the future. Your actions need some consideration, however. Start by knowing the reference check policy of your Human Resources office about generating reference letters. In some organizations, the only employees authorized to provide a reference are Human Resources staff.

Other organizations ask you to run the reference letter by your HR office before sending. In our litigious society, HR oversight can save problems later. HR staff will check to make sure your letter is focused specifically on work behaviors, actions, and results that you observed. They will check for overgeneralizing and too many effusive remarks. In any case, a second pair of eyes is helpful.

With the go-ahead to write a reference letter, think about the employee’s significant contributions and focus your letter on these achievements. Written on company stationery, with clear contact information, and the recommender's name and job title, the reference letter provides a positive boost to a job searcher's credentials.

Reference Letter Sample

Use this reference letter sample as a guide when you recommend a respected, well-liked employee who made positive contributions to your organization.

Date

To Whom It May Concern:

Mark Robinson was employed by the Pall Corporation from April, 2000 until August 15, 2011. During that time period, Mark worked in a variety of departments and learned our manufacturing business. He reported to me for the last three years when he worked as a supervisor in the filter production clean room department. As Mark’s manager, I can best discuss the qualities and accomplishments that Mark brought to our company.

Mark was a self-starter who required little supervision. He was informed about and interested in our products, markets, customers, and strategic direction. This helped him run a department that was productive and made high quality parts with a lot of employee input. Productivity increased by 25% under his direction and the normal quality rating was 99%+.

Employees clamored to transfer into his department and he rarely lost an employee unless the employee had a legitimate reason for leaving such as a promotion or problems at home requiring attention. The employees were significantly involved in setting production and quality goals and determining how to reach those goals.

Mark was a good colleague to his coworkers and always shared tips and ideas to help others manage quality departments, too. He put together supervisor self-training sessions to help other supervisors continue to develop their skills. They read books together, brought in an occasional speaker or customer and generally pursued continuous improvement and management development.

Mark started an on-the-job training activity that constantly cross-trained employees so even in high vacation times, output was rarely affected. I was developing Mark to fill my job when my next promotion became available. That is how highly I thought of his work.

I was sorry to see Mark leave but understand that his wife was offered a job in her specialty area in Colorado, a location that appealed to his family because they are skiers. Her specialty is a difficult one to find employment in and I knew that there was a chance that we’d lose Mark when she completed her degree. But, I respect that the needs and interests of his family are paramount.

If it’s not obvious already, I highly recommend Mark to an employer. We are sorry to lose him and his contributions in our workplace over the years have been substantial. He is currently dedicating his time to making sure that his knowledge and skills stay in our workplace by training replacements prior to his departure.

Please contact me if you want or need additional information. I have enclosed my office phone extension and my cell phone number so that you can reach me directly for follow-up.

Regards,

Marsha Silva

Director of Operations and Plant Manager

Office: 734-233-4801 or Cell: 734-998-3208

Place a copy of the reference letter, after review by Human Resources, in the employee’s personnel file.

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