Sample Reference Letter

Having to write a reference letter can be a daunting prospect if you’ve never written one before. Take the pain out of the process by availing yourself of someone else’s efforst! The following is a sample reference letter for a fomer employee who is seeking employment elsewhere. The post is of a technical nature (programming) but you can easily substitute the technical references and names with the details that pertain to your requirements.

The Good Software Company, 410 E 65th Street, New York, NY 10021

Ms. Elizabeth Smith
Software Development Manager
The Cutting Edge Software Provider
267 S. Beverly Dr.
Beverly Hills
CA 90212

Dear Ms. Smith

Jonathan Medford was employed as a VB.NET developer at The Cutting Edge Software Provider from November 2000 to February 2005 when he left to take a post at a different company.

During Jonathan’s tenure, he performed his duties to a very high standard. He was well liked by his colleagues and I, for one, was very sad to see him go. Members of staff he worked with speak highly of his skills, work ethic and willingness to cooperate. He demonstrated his ability to work as a valued member of a team, but he was also able to work on his own initiative too.

In his work Jonathan showed a very thorough understanding of VB.NET and associated technologies. I would wholeheartedly recommend Jonathan Medford for the post of senior VB.NET Team Leader. Please feel free to contact me, should you need any additional information.

Yours sincerely


Eamonn Selici

Product Development Manager

Anatomy Of A Sample Reference Letter

The template for a reference letter can be broken down into the following 3 parts, which correspond to the paragraphs in the letter:

  1. statement of previous employment.
  2. assessment of the employee’s past performance
  3. recommendation of candidate
  4. permission for future contact