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Employment Reference Example & Tips

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When it comes to job hunting, having a strong employment reference can make all the difference. A positive reference can help you stand out from the competition and increase your chances of getting hired. However, securing a great employment reference can be a challenge. In this post, we’ll provide you with employment reference examples and tips to help you secure a strong reference and land your dream job.

What is an Employment Reference?

An employment reference is a document or statement provided by a former employer or colleague that describes your work ethic, skills, and performance. It is typically requested by potential employers as part of the hiring process to assess your suitability for the job. A strong employment reference can help to highlight your strengths and increase your chances of being offered a position.

Employment Reference Example

Here is an example of an employment reference:

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing to provide a reference for [Your Name]. [Your Name] worked for our company for [length of time] as a [position]. During that time, [he/she] demonstrated a strong work ethic, attention to detail, and a willingness to go above and beyond to ensure the success of the team.

[Your Name] was responsible for [specific duties or projects], which [he/she] executed with precision and excellence. [He/She] consistently met or exceeded expectations and was a valuable member of the team.

I highly recommend [Your Name] for any position [he/she] may be applying for. [He/She] would be an asset to any organization and I have no doubt that [he/she] will continue to excel in [his/her] future endeavors.


[Your Former Employer’s Name]

[Your Former Employer’s Position]

[Your Former Employer’s Company]

Employment Reference Tips

Choose the Right References

When selecting your references, choose individuals who can speak to your abilities and work ethic. Ideally, your references should be former managers or colleagues who have worked closely with you and can provide specific examples of your accomplishments and skills.

Ask for Permission

Before providing someone’s name as a reference, ask for their permission. Not only is this a courtesy, but it also gives you the opportunity to confirm that they are willing and able to provide a positive reference.

Provide Necessary Information

When asking someone to be a reference, provide them with the information they will need to provide a strong reference. This may include a copy of your resume, the job description, and any relevant information about the company or position.

Prepare Your References

Before providing your references’ contact information to a potential employer, let them know that they may be contacted and provide them with information about the job you are applying for. This will give them the opportunity to prepare and tailor their reference to the position.

Follow Up

After providing your references’ contact information, follow up with them to confirm that they were contacted and to thank them for their assistance.

Stay in Touch

Maintain a positive relationship with your references even after the hiring process is complete. They may be able to provide additional references in the future or may be valuable networking contacts.


What should I do if I don’t have any professional references?

If you don’t have any professional references, consider asking a former teacher, coach, or mentor who can speak to your skills and work ethic. You can also highlight any relevant volunteer work or extracurricular activities that demonstrate your abilities.

How many references should I provide?

Most employers will request three references. However, be sure to check the job description for specific requirements.

What if my former employer is no longer with the company?

If your former employer is no longer with the company, provide the name and contact information of another manager or supervisor who can speak to your work.

Can I use a personal reference?

While personal references can speak to your character, they may not be as effective as professional references in demonstrating your skills and work ethic. Use personal references only if specifically requested by the employer.

What if my reference provides a negative reference?

If your reference provides a negative reference, it may be difficult to recover. Consider asking someone else to provide a reference or addressing any issues with the potential employer directly.


A strong employment reference can be the difference between getting hired and missing out on a job opportunity. By following these employment reference tips and providing your potential employer with a strong reference, you can increase your chances of landing your dream job.

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