Thursday, 13 October 2011

Quick Tip: Reference Letters

Too often than not people wait until the last minute to get reference letters. Time has passed and their boss might have moved on, or forgotten a lot about what you did, or simply not have time to write a reference letter.

Before leaving your job you should get a couple of reference letters then and there from your boss and supervisors. Get a couple copies of each letter if possible.

If you want a reference letter for a specific job, tell your boss where you're applying, otherwise ask them to write a general letter.   Here are some items that are usually included.
  • Write the letter on professional letterhead with the name of the institution at the top.
  • How you know me, ex. employer, students, etc.
  • Include job title (mine and yours)
  • What I did and when.
  • Why I am a good candidate for the position.
  • Any additional responsibilities: workshops, newsletters, level coordinator, student placement, etc.
  • Should include contact information (address, phone, and email).
  • Sign using ink. Don't just type your name.
  • Stamp it with the school's stamp.
  • Date it.
Remember to get your boss' contact info, such as phone number and email. Email is very important as they might move or change jobs. Keeping in touch is very important. No one wants to hear from someone after years only to be asked to help out. Touch base once in a while and let them know what's going on.

Got an idea for a quick tip?
Email me with your quick tip, name, and website (if you have one) and I'll post it ASAP.

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