A letter of recommendation from a former employer can go a long way in enhancing a candidate’s chances of landing a new job. Degrees held by the candidate and his educational information can provide an employer much needed insight about the candidate’s competence for the post he has applied for, while the reference letter can offer an employer the chance to get information about his personal qualities. The following is a sample of a reference letter from an employer which is going to make it easier for you to write such letters in future.

Part 1: Common Reference Letter Structure

Usually, a reference letter consists of certain parts in it. If you don't know what to write for a reference letter, or you have no idea about what to ask for a former employer to write in your reference letter.

  • Name and address of the addressed person

  • Date

  • Greetings (Use either Dear Sir/Madam or To Whom it May Concern)

  • Certify the job details of the applicant

  • Certify that the applicant had a positive attitude and his performance was largely satisfactory

  • Give a small account of the applicant’s job duties

  • Give a small account of the candidate’s strengths, qualifications and skills

  • Mention that you would love to rehire the applicant

  • Propose to give more information about the applicant if needed

  • End the letter with “Your Faithfully”

  • Optional: The appreciation you include in the letter about the candidate.

Part 2: How to Write a Reference Letter for Employee


Start the letter by writing the greetings which would include your names and your company’s name and address along with the date and the name of the person you are writing the reference letter to.


The first paragraph of the reference letter is all about providing the reason why you are writing the letter for the applicant. You will have to provide information about the applicant’s job history with you and mention the time he spent working for you.


The second paragraph is going to include the details of the position and job duties that the applicant performed while he was working for you. The third paragraph will focus on the applicant’s skills, qualities and abilities that you came to admire while he was an employee for your company.


The fourth paragraph of the reference letter would be all about the reasons why you think the applicant is suitable for the job. You should explain in brief sentences the reasons for endorsing the candidate.


The concluding paragraph of the reference letter should contain your contact details as well as a proposal to offer more details about the applicant if they are needed.

Part 3: Samples of Reference Letter for Employee

To Whom It May Concern or Dear (Name of the Possible Employer)

As the General Manager of Sales and Marketing at Eaton Corporation, I can assure you that Mr. John Smith is an appropriate candidate for the (name of the post) position that has recently been made available in your organization. John worked under me for about three years and I was really impressed with his performance throughout his time at our company.

John Smith was an Associate Director of the Research department at our company. He was responsible for handling over twenty projects for Eaton Corporation and was directly involved in doing the research for these projects. He was extremely professional and completed the research work for the projects in record time. John is a very competent and hardworking individual and has impressed us every time we have entrusted him with a project. He has incredible interpersonal skills and is a team man. He knows how to work with other people and has been a very influential figure in completing many of the projects at our company. His attention to detail is one of his greatest abilities which have always served our company well.

John was a very valuable member of our team and I have no doubt in my mind that he is going to bring a lot of value to any company he joins next. I would love to recommend John Smith simply because he is a competent professional.

Yours Sincerely,


Adam Bates

Managing Director, Sales and Marketing

Eaton Corporation

3 September, 2014

For more writing samples, you can click the link below:


  • Do remember to refrain from the following don’ts of writing reference letter for employees: Please do not cite any shortcomings of the applicant.
  • Do not stating something that can be interpreted as a lie.
  • Do not using an informal tone when composing the letter. Make the letter look professional. Making use of slang and informal language is going to put the applicant’s chances of getting the job at risk.
  • Do not insert any personal details of the applicant in the letter. It is not suitable to cite the religion, age, marital status, political stance, health or race of the applicant.
  • Take care of typing mistakes, spelling errors and careless writing. The letter should be kept professional as it can make or break the applicant’s chances of landing the job.

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