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How to write an Employee Reference Letter

Not sure how to put together a reference for your employee?

Here is a sample employee reference letter you can use as a guide to get you started.



[insert date]

To Whom It May Concern

Dear Sir/Madam,


[Joseph Smith] was employed by our firm during the period [date] to [date] as [insert job title, e.g. dental technician].

Joseph’s role as [dental technician] involved [insert a broad description of what the role involved].

The following tasks and duties were a performed as part of this role:-

  • [list tasks and duties]

The manner in which [Joseph] conducted himself was [describe the attitude of the employee.  Was it satisfactory, exceptional etc].  The work performed while with our firm was [describe the output for example, of a high standard, etc].

[You can describe further the employee’s skills, talents, strengths.  Try to be specific.  If you don’t feel comfortable providing positive feedback, then just keep to the basic facts of employment, i.e. the date, role and tasks of the employee.]

I would be pleased to provide further information to you or chat to you further about [Joseph’s] time with us further.  You can contact me on [insert phone number].

Yours faithfully,

[insert signatory name]
[insert signatory contact details]


Include as much detail as you like

If you are struggling to think of any positive attributes concerning an employee, keep to the bare facts such as the period of employment, the job description and the types of tasks undertaken.

You may or may not wish to disclose the salary details of the employee.  Salary details could also be addressed in a separate letter.

Be as factual and honest as you can and remember if you can’t say something nice about someone – don’t say anything at all.

Human Resources in the Workplace Document TemplatesFurther employment documentation including Employment Agreements and Workplace Policies can be located here