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3 Sample Reference Letters

Here are 3 sample reference letters designed to best promote someone's strengths and character qualities. Hope they help you author your own.

They cover the following 3 broad situations:

1. A good employee who was laid off

2. An excellent former employee

3. An average performer, but a good person

Sample Reference Letter 1: Excellent laid off employee


To whom it may concern:

Ben Dover worked for me for 4 years. He is an exceptional Product Engineer.

Ben's recent job loss from Robo Gadget Corp was not job performance related. The sudden downturn in the economy left us no choice but to lay off 15% of our workforce. Unfortunately, Ben's group was most impacted by the recession and he was laid off along with many others. He is eligible for rehire if and when business conditions improve.

I highly recommend Ben to any company. He is well organized, dependable, timely, trustworthy, and always brings a positive attitude to his work. Ben works well in a team environment or independently. He is well liked by everyone including our customers and suppliers.

Last year I assigned Ben to an engineering group of 7 people. This group was struggling with a $50 million program for one of our key clients. Morale was low among team members. Over a 90 day period, I saw a refreshing change in the attitude of all team members. I believe this was a direct result of Ben's attitude and contribution to this group. The program launched on time and to the satisfaction of our customer.

If you have any further questions about Ben, please feel free to call me.


Johnnie B. Goode, Director of Engineering

C: 248-555-1212

Sample Reference Letter 2: Excellent former employee


To whom it may concern:

When Suzzie Q asked me if I would write a letter of recommendation for her, I didn't hesitate. This letter was easy for me to write.

Suzzie is not only a person of integrity, she is an outstanding Accountant. She worked for me at Cheatem and Shockem Accounting from 2008 to 2013.

During her tenure with us, I could always depend on Suzzie to deliver. She is energetic, accurate, fair minded, dependable, and mostly importantly, possesses a wonderful sense of humor.

I recall a time when one of our key customers was irate over an error we made that resulted in an audit. I assigned Suzzie to work through this with our customer. Suzzie not only represented them at the audit, but found additional deductions in favor of the client that resolved the original issue. The client was very impressed and complimentary of Suzzie. As a result, we still have this client today.

We would hire her back in a minute, but our company is very small with no advancement opportunities for someone with Suzzie's talents. She would definitely contribute and thrive in a complex, fast paced organization.

Do yourself a favor. Hire Suzzie.


Ali Gator, CFO

Sample Reference Letter 3: Average employee, but good person


To whom it may concern:

Please accept my letter of recommendation for Alex Kissoff. Alex worked directly for me as a Buyer at Crashalot Computers from March 2010 to February 2015. I always found Alex to be consistent, reliable, punctual, hard working, and loyal to me and our company.

Despite Alex's 5 years of employment with us, he lost his job in a company wide reduction in force due to the soft economy. This was unforeseen and unfortunate for all of us. Alex rarely missed work for an illness or personal reasons. He willingly worked overtime and traveled on short notice.

One of Alex's worthy accomplishments occurred in the summer of 2007. Without warning, one of our major Asian suppliers unexpectedly raised their prices 10%. This negatively impacted our profitability since we were already operating on razor thin profit margins. Alex successfully held our supplier's feet to the fire for the balance of our 12 month agreement. He then found a replacement supplier who agreed to a price of only 3% over our existing price.

Alex is honest and forthright in all of his business dealings.


Bud Tugley, Purchasing Manager

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