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A recommendation letter for employment is a letter written by a professional or person well-known to support a job application.

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Sample Employment Letter of Recommendation

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Sample Employment Letter of Recommendation

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Job Letter of Recommendation Information

Alternate Names:

  • Recommendation Letter for Job Applicants
  • Recommendation Letter for Employment Applicants
  • Recommendation Letter for Applicants for a Job
  • Recommendation Letter for Applicants for Employment

What is a Job Recommendation Letter?

A Job Recommendation Letter is a letter written by a professional or person well-known to support a job application. The letter includes details about the person writing the letter.

The Letter also covers:

  • The role of the person writing the supporting letter and their relationship to the applicant and their experience of this person
  • Specific references to the applicant's relevant knowledge, expertise and skills and abilities
  • The writer's view of the applicant's potential for success in the post they are applying for and why they believe this to be the case.
  • Descriptions of the applicant's relevant professional strengths, knowledge or practical aptitudes and skills demonstrated that they are aware of.
  • References to relevant personal qualities, knowledge and skills e.g. in the workplace, voluntary activities, or day to day social life. These should demonstrate the desirability and capability of the person they are describing for the job.
  • Relevant details should be supplied to support statements made about the above, with specific examples of paid or voluntary work undertaken that pertain to their desired job. Alternatively, examples of everyday life situations or events that the writer has knowledge about when the applicant has demonstrated the their capability and / or desirability for the post being applied for.
  • Use of descriptive terms and powerful terms will bolster the letter writer's case
  • References to the applicant's professional training
  • References to professional and life goals of the applicant where appropriate and relevant
  • Summary of the applicant in the round

Both the employer and the referee should keep a copy of the signed letter for their records.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who is the best person to write a letter of recommendation for a job?

    • A previous boss or supervisor is the best person to write your letter of recommendation letter, rather than e.g. a standardised letter from HR staff.

  2. What if my previous employer has a 'no reference' policy or I did not get on with them?

    • There is a difference between a 'corporate' and 'personal' reference. The former is a blanket generic statement which speaks for the company and does not leave them open to litigation; it merely specifies your job role and period of employment.

    • A personal reference may be written by a colleague, or ideally a supervisor and is purely their own responsibility, meaning there is no potential for litigation of the company and may be written even where HR policy advises otherwise.

    • Where employment is terminated, they can negotiate for a written reference as part of their separation agreement, which outlines the "departure message" about the employee. If an employee did not get on well with their boss, they should approach a colleague instead.

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