Employment Letter of Recommendation Form

An employment letter of recommendation is a letter used to refer an individual for a specific job. It is usually written by a current or former supervisor or by another professional who knows and can attest to the abilities of the individual applying for the job. A well-written employment letter of recommendation explains the applicant's knowledge, ability, and talent. It is also known as a recommendation letter for a job.

What is an employment letter of recommendation?

A Job Recommendation Letter is a letter written by a professional or other person who knows a person well to support a job application. The letter includes details about the person writing the letter.  Employers often ask job candidates to provide letters of recommendation from previous employers to help them have a better idea of who the candidate is and how they will thrive in the work environment.

Why do you need a recommendation letter?

Many jobs will require you to provide references or letters of recommendation.  This letter can also be used for applications to work study placements, apprenticeships, volunteer work, or alternative job opportunities.

Other Names

Alternate Names:

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

As a job applicant, a letter of recommendation will strengthen your own application as you embark on your job search.  The letter offers an independent and /or professional opinion about your skills, knowledge and potential capability for a job, work placement or voluntary work.

As a professional employer, HR team or voluntary organization manager, responsible for staff intake, a letter of recommendation offers you an independent assessment of a potential student’s knowledge, capabilities and capacity for success in your organisation’s vacant role.

People who may find this letter useful are:

  • Employers
  • Voluntary Organisations
  • Job Applicants
  • Job Referees

Types of reference letters

  • Letter of Recommendation Written by a Supervisor - A letter by a past supervisor will carry a lot of weight.  If you are writing a letter as a supervisor or manager, you should indicate your role and how long you have managed the employee.  You should be sure to give detailed examples of how the employee used their skills to achieve goals and any achievements and personality traits of the employee that contribute to their professional successes.
  • Recommendation Letter Written by a Coworker - A letter from a coworker can help provide a fuller picture of the candidate in the work environment.  The letter should include a description of the working relationship such as working on the same team or project together. The letter should include details of your colleague’s skills and achievements that you witnessed firsthand and any positive aspects of their personality that made them a good person to work with.
  • Character Reference Written by a Friend - Sometimes a job will request personal letters of recommendation.  A personal character reference should include details of a person’s personal achievements outside of the workplace that may be applicable to the job.  A personal reference should highlight strength of character and positive personality traits.
  • LinkedIn Recommendation - LinkedIn recommendation requests are very similar to any other recommendation request - they are simply more concise.  Where a letter of recommendation would generally be a few paragraphs long, a LinkedIn recommendation may only be a few sentences long. Even though this type of recommendation is short, including a few examples in your recommendation is always a good practice.

Best Practices

Who should write it?

A previous boss or supervisor is the best person to write your letter of recommendation letter, rather than a standardized letter from HR staff or a hiring manager.

What if my previous employer has a ‘no reference’ policy or I did not get along 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.  The employee should not risk receiving a negative recommendation.

Sample Reference Letter

You can use the following recommendation letter sample or work from a recommendation letter template.  Our sample letter includes all the key parts.

Dear Hiring Committee,

I am very pleased to recommend Jonathan Smith for a role as an Account Manager in the Sales Division of ABC Company.

I was Jonathan’s manager at XYZ Company for the past 2 years, where he was a Sales Assistant and I am the VP of Sales.

During Jonathan’s tenure at XYZ Company, I came to rely upon him as a valuable member of our sales team.  He is reliable and hard-working and I could always count on him to finish his projects on time or early.

Along with his strong work ethic, Jonathan was a pleasure to be around.  He is a team player and works well in a collaborative environment. Jonathan assisted 4 different Sales Managers and they all enjoyed working with him and thought that he was a positive contributor to our team.  He has excellent written and verbal communication skills.

I can confidently recommend Jonathan to the role of Account Manager with ABC Company.  If you need any additional information or would like to discuss Jonathan’s qualifications further, I can be reached at (212) 555-5555 or jmanager@xyz.com.


Jason Manager

VP of Sales, XYZ company

Download a PDF or Word Template

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Sample Employment Letter of Recommendation


Sample Employment Letter of Recommendation

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