How To Ask For a Reference Letter

February 19, 2021

Reference Letter

Reference letters are probably the last thing on a job seeker’s mind when putting together their application.

However, few realise the value of a well written reference letter from a former employer.

A good reference letter vouches for your abilities from an objective standpoint, unlike your resume.

But getting an employment reference letter is a tricky act, often causing much anxiety. How do you ask for it?

Here are six steps to help you get that referral letter!

Step 1: Explain where you are today and what you need

It may have been a lengthy period of time since you last spoke to your former boss or mentor. It is always important to be upfront about your current situation and help you are requesting for. A great way to start off would be like this:

Step 2: Explain why you are approaching them

You’ve probably had many bosses in the past. Therefore, it is important to explain to your former boss why you are picking him/her to write your letter of reference.

Step 3: Highlight some of your achievements

Your former boss or mentor is probably really busy. It would be great if you could provide him with a guide of sorts to highlight your achievements to aid in the writing of your reference letter.

Step 4: Give them a chance to say “No”

At this point, it is important to give your former boss or mentor an option to say no without feeling uncomfortable.

Step 5: Close with a warm thank you

At the last stage, thank your former boss for their time.

Step 6: Sign off

Sign off with a joke or memory from the old days. Something to put a smile on your referee’s face.

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