A reference letter, also known as a recommendation letter, aims to assess a person based on a company or institution statement. Its fundamental future is to “swell” the curriculum of a worker or professional when presenting themselves for new applications or recruits. The importance of this reference letter is given precisely by that objective, which is why its correct writing deserves some consideration.
Reference letter and its objectives
When a worker leaves a company, it is common to ask the human resources area to provide a reference letter. These letters typically accompany the resumes and reaffirm the job positions that the worker has previously held.
The reference letter is a kind of summary of a worker’s performance and an assessment by a former employer of how that performance has been.
It is evident that a reference letter is the product of a friendly separation process between the worker and the employer; otherwise, a letter of these characteristics would be almost impossible to obtain.
There are other activities in which the reference letter plays a role. For example, certain companies usually hire professionals for a particular project. This is common in those companies that carry out projects of an international scenery. At the end of his contractual relationship with the company, the hired professional generally request a reference letter to give more weight to his resume.
Writing a reference letter
When a company is asked to deliver a reference letter of a former employee or a professional who has fulfilled a specific task, it will be drafted by the personnel sector or the human resources area. Generally, it will bear the signature of whoever was the immediate boss of the letter holder. This is important to point out since the person who signs the letter will be the reference. Many companies receiving a reference letter have a habit of checking the credibility of that document, proceeding to more direct communication with the person who signed the letter.
Every reference letter model has well-defined moments or paragraphs and to which it is necessary to pay close attention.
Firstly, it corresponds to the formal data of the interested party, their full name, their document number. Some companies usually place, in addition, the internal file number, especially when it comes to companies with significant staffing and the position he was occupying at the time of his separation.
The second paragraph of the reference letter will be dedicated to highlighting the worker’s tasks within the company. In this case, a summary of their entire career can be made, from their beginning in the company, to highlight the worker’s labor evolution, the time that they worked in each of the positions they occupied throughout their career.
Then comes one of the most important part of a reference letter. We are talking about the assessment that the company makes of what the performance of that worker was. In making this assessment, the company must be strictly objective. Speaking well of the worker for the simple fact of “looking good with him” can be a double-edged sword.
Because giving references that are not absolute can cause a process of mistrust on the part of the recipients of the reference letter, to the detriment of the writer and the interested party.
Finally, the signer of the letter must make him or herself available to the recipient of the letter to expand the information from more direct communication. This gives the reference letter a weight that flattens the recipient’s confidence.
We have mentioned that some letters of reference are requested by professionals who apply for specific projects in different parts of the world.
We mention this because these professionals have the practice of having these letters translated into different languages. Qualified translators must do these translations. In some cases, the translations are accompanied by a notarial act that authenticates the translation process. For this, the company that issues the reference letter must give its consent.
We can find more than one example of a reference letter, but as we have always shown, from these pages, these examples only serve as a model for a brief orientation. Those in charge of drafting a reference letter must bear in mind that it constitutes a document where not only the worker’s performance will be valued. Also, the company’s ability to be objective when assessing performance will be scrutinized by its workers.
As part of the formal letter, we wanted to give you some ideas so that the drafting of these documents is more than a mere procedure and the role it occupies is correctly assessed.