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How to Write a Reference for an Employee With Strengths

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A good reference letter can go a long way toward helping a former employee find a new job. Including the employee's strengths is the best way to make sure that the letter has an effect. To write a reference letter for an employee with strengths, you need to list all the employee's strengths that are relevant to the job without including any unnecessary information. This can be done quickly and easily as long as you focus on key information and staying organized.

Start writing the letter in business letter format. Write the recipient's name and address, and address them with the word "dear." If you do not have a first or last name for the recipient, use "Dear Sir or Madam."

Introduce yourself to the reader. State your name, place of employment, job title, and relationship to the employee. Explain that you have been called on to refer the employee because of your longstanding relationship.

Confirm any information that the employer needs to know about the candidate. State where the employer worked for you, how long the employee worked for you, and the position held.

Write a paragraph detailing your assessment of the candidate's abilities. Describe all the duties that the employee was responsible for when they worked for you and how well the employee fulfilled each duty. Place particular emphasis on skills that will be relevant to the new employer. For example, if the employee is applying to medical school, spend a lot of time on how good that person was at listening and attending to people's needs.

Write a paragraph giving examples of the candidate's accomplishments. Describe any awards, promotions, or recognitions the employee received while working for you. Describe any other major accomplishments the employee had outside your organization, if you are aware of any.

Close with a summary of why the employee is good for the job. Include a positive note about the employee's skills, accomplishments, and work ethic.

End with a polite closing line, such as "Yours truly, ****" or "Yours sincerely, ."


Based in St. John's, Canada, Andrew Button has been writing since 2008, covering politics, business and finance. He has contributed to newspapers and online magazines, including "The Evening Telegram" and Button is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Memorial University in St. John's.