A reference letter, when requested, is as important as the curriculum vitae since it is another way to present the skills and professional experiences of a candidate. Especially if it is signed by a professional with credibility in the market.
This post is dedicated to this issue. Continue reading and find out more about the reference letter or letter of recommendation!
Reference Letter: What is it?
The first thing you should know is that the letter of recommendation is a document whose purpose is to formalize someone’s opinion about the technical and personal skills of a professional and serves as an important complement to the curriculum.
Let us agree that the labor market is increasingly competitive, and, in this context, each experience, attitude, knowledge, or skill aggregates points at the moment the recruiter evaluates the candidate’s profile.
Thus, one of the most important elements about it is that, in most cases, it assumes the role of a draw breaker criterion in a job selective. The external opinion, usually of a respected professional, counts a lot when it comes to making the final evaluation of the candidates. Even LinkedIn has this feature.
Although not a popular resource, the letter of recommendation can be a decisive factor at the time of selection. It is an advantage for companies, which can make a safer choice, and for candidates who have one more resource in their favor.
The question must be considered: the choice of the right person to draw up the document.
Things to Consider while Writing a Reference Letter
When asked by someone to write the document, one needs to focus on aspects such as:
- It is always better than the letter is printed (often attached to the physical resume) or in PDF and has the company’s letterhead.
- The recommender should not forget to include their identifying data, as well as the position he holds in the company.
- Worker’s ID.
- It is recommended that the recommended working period appear, when it started, and when your work period ended in the company from which you are leaving.
- Include the positive attitudes of the worker, but without falling into excessive flattery, which could sound the suspicious letter or very obvious generalities.
- Close the merit and experience part with a final phrase of recommendation for the particular position you are eligible for.
- Mention the courses or training that the recommended worker may have received during his/her period in the company (especially if the worker does not have diplomas to prove it).
- Signature of the recommender.
- Company seal.
How to Format Reference Letter
The header shall include the place and date on which the letter is drawn, as well as the identification of the person who writes it, with the position it occupies in the company and the name of the company itself.
The first line will also include a formal greeting, which may be general if we do not know who the letter is addressed to, with a “To whom it corresponds”, or personalized if we do know the identity of the person to whom the letter of recommendation will be delivered. The usual formulas are usually “Very Mr. My or Mrs. My”, accompanied by the recipient’s data.
Identification of the signer
We can also choose to include the identification of the signer of the letter of recommendation in the first lines after the header rather than in the header. For example, we can use the following formula:
Who subscribe, head of the department at the company Manufactures S.A., through the present manifests…
Data and merits of the worker
This is the important part of the work letter of recommendation, as it will be where we detail the experience and work merits of the worker to which we are recommending, as well as other personal positive aspects that we consider necessary to mention (obviously, for this it is necessary that we know moderately well the person we are recommending and that we do not invent anything because our own credibility could be affected).
Thus, in this part of the letter of recommendation, we will identify the worker with first and last names, his seniority in the company, the position or position he has been occupying or those he has held over time if he has changed positions, explaining what the changes were due to, his professional merits and those positive comments that we think it is appropriate to include (without excessively abusing the flattery).
Finally, we will close the letter with a farewell in which we will make available to the recipient for any inquiries that he would like to make regarding the recommended person. As an example, we have the following formulas:
Remaining at your disposal for any consultation or clarification in…
You can easily use the following formulations:
“I experienced Ms. Muster as an inquisitive and committed employee.”
“Mr. Muster not only took some work away from me as his boss but also enriched the working atmosphere with his cordial and solution-oriented behavior.”
“I am convinced that it will fit in smoothly.”
“I got to know him as an open-minded and reliable personality.”
What is the Format Suggested by Forbes
Forbes is one of the best-known business-oriented publications in the world. So reputable that it is responsible for publishing the famous lists about the richest people, whether in certain countries or even around the world.
The journal usually addresses the main issues related to the labor market and trends in the economy through national and international posts. And it has already addressed the same theme proposed in this article.
So if the situation comes up and you have to write one —or even ask someone for one—you can use the template for this highly regarded magazine. Check!
Reference letter template
I am pleased to recommend [name] for [position] in [company name].
[Name] and I [include the relationship type] in the [company] for [time period].
I enjoyed the time I worked with [name] and found that [he/she] is a very valuable person for any team.
[He/She] is honest, safe, and incredibly dedicated.
Also, [he/she] is impressive [include a soft skill”, as a leader or proactive], which always [include a result of this “soft skill”]. His knowledge of [specific subject] and experience in [specific subject] was a great advantage for the entire office.
[He/She] put this skill set in favor of [specific goal]. With his undeniable talent, it has always been very enjoyable to work with [name].
[He/She] truly knows how to work as a team and always fosters positive discussions and brings out the best in each of his or her employees.
Without a doubt, I recommend [name] to your team at [the company]. A dedicated employee and connoisseur of the role, [name] is also a great person.
I know that [he/she] will be a positive hire for your company.
Please feel free to contact me via email [address] or phone [include number] if you want to talk about the professional skills of [name].
I’ll be happy to extend my recommendation.
[name of the one who recommends]”
Reference Letter Templates & Examples
If you want to make things even easier, then you can download and use our free reference letter templates and examples.
Difference Between a Reference Letter and Cover Letter
Unlike the letter of recommendation, the cover letter consists of a text in which the candidate himself exposes some data about himself. Nowadays, most companies in the market do not ask for a cover letter, but there may be exceptions.
Thus, it is necessary to be very careful with what will be written because the document should not extol its own qualities. In fact, the most indicated is that it is a summary of what will be presented succinctly. See:
According to your request, I’m sending my resume for your review.
I have a degree in [course], with a postgraduate degree in [course]. I have [language] [degree of proficiency], and I have more than [x] years of experience in [function].
Among my characteristics are [insert a maximum of 3 skills].
I have availability for travel if necessary.
I make myself available for an interview or further clarification.
Recently, Forbes published an article with tips on what not to do to build a good image before a new employer. Here’s what the text said:
Calling yourself the city’s best salesman, a top lawyer in your field or the greatest accountant of all time is not a good choice to sell your personal brand —and it’s on the list of the six worst ways to stand out.
“The problem with “I’m the best” presentations is that they mark you as someone who lacks the confidence to simply say, “I’m an accountant, and here are the things I’ve done so far in my career.”
Praising yourself is unfavorable. Let other people praise you. Praising is not your job.
That’s where the paper of the letter of recommendation comes in. Through it, you do not give the impression of having the ego inflated too much and do not run the risk of being misunderstood in recruitment and selection processes. It is much better to leave this job to those who have had the opportunity to form a team with you.
The letter of recommendation or reference may even be more popular in Europe, but that does not mean that it is not welcome in other parts of the world. Take advantage of the tips in this article and increase the chances of being hired by presenting this document in your next selection process!
Frequently Asked Questions
The function and purpose of the professional letter of recommendation are to give references for the recommended one that asks a former colleague or superior, who can facilitate him to be hired in a new job. It serves to prove the real experience that the recommended one has, in addition to his personal virtues.
The work letter of recommendation must include at least and in an essential way the data of the recommender and the recommended one, the merits of this second, and a form of contact of the recommender so that the new employer can contact him if necessary.
Any potential contractor who wishes to verify the professional experience of their candidate requires a reference letter. The document must be presented in printed form, containing the signature of the employer – be it a natural person or a legal entity. After that, the letter can be presented to any institution that requires it to continue the selection process of an open position.