How to ace a reference letter
First thing’s first, you need to work out whether you’ve actually had a good experience of this person. If in doubt, it’s probably best to politely decline rather than make stuff up or—even worse—lie.
If you know you can sing the praises of this person, then go ahead and:
- Chat to other people who knew them: You might want to double check their title, how long they worked with you and even reminisce about the awesome times you had together.
- Draft your piece: Note a few of this person’s best qualities plus any specific examples—especially where they showed super awesomeness.
- Use our template: Customize the template below to create your letter.
Reference Letter Template:
Hi [insert name]!
I am super happy to recommend [their name]. As [their job title], [He/ She] worked with me, [your job title], at [company name] for [duration of stay].
As an employee, [their name] was always totally [quality]. During [his/her] time in my team, [he/she] managed to [specific example].
I really rate [quality] in our team and [their name] aced it every time. An example was when [example].
[Their name] is a awesome to work with and I wouldn’t hesitate to hire [him/her] again.
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about [him/her]. My number is [phone number].
[Your name and signature]
- Use 1-2 sentences to give context to each of your examples.
- Write in your own voice and focus on what’s important.
- Be honest about what they’ve acheived—you don’t want to catch them out later.
- Tailor your letter to the job they’re applying for if you can.