Job Reference Letter

Job reference letter to ask for an employment reference and to ask someone to be your reference.

  • You have decided on the people you would like to serve as employment references during your job search.
  • It is important ask their permission to put their names forward as references.
  • This way they will not be taken by surprise when they are contacted by a potential employer.
  • The better prepared they are for the reference request the more likely they will provide a relevant and positive job reference.

If you want to ask someone to act as a reference and write an employment reference letter for you, this sample letter and email can easily be adapted for your own use.

Sample request for a job reference letter

Your Name
Your Address
City, State, Zip Code
Your Contact numbers
Your E-mail


Reference Name
Company Name
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Mr Jones

I am currently involved in searching for a new position and would appreciate your help. I would like to include you in my list of references as someone who has a good knowledge of my skills and abilities.

If you are willing to act as one of my references I will include your name, title and contact details on my reference list and I will keep you updated about possible contact from a potential employer.

At this point, I would be grateful if you would write a letter of recommendation for me to include with my job search documents. I would appreciate it if you could outline my responsibilities while at XYZ Company and attest to the skills and abilities I demonstrated in the job.

Please let me know if you are comfortable with this request and if there is any information I can provide in connection with this.


John Candidate

Email requesting letter of recommendation

Email asking for a letter of recommendation

Dear Susan

I am applying for a new position and would like to include you as a reference. Having worked together for some time I regard you as someone who has a good knowledge of my work abilities and performance and who will provide a valid employment reference.

I need a job reference letter to include with my application and I would be grateful if you would write an employment reference for me. The application closing date is Date and I can either collect the letter or you can email it to me before this date.

Please let me know if if there is any information I can provide in connection with this.

Thank you for your assistance.

Jane Jobseeker

Email requesting a verbal reference

You will also need to provide the names and contact details of individuals that will provide a verbal reference to a prospective employer.  It is essential that these people are asked if they are prepared to provide a verbal reference and are not caught unawares when receiving a call from the employer. This sample email requesting a verbal reference is easy to adapt for your own use.

Request a Reference Email Example

What is a professional reference and who can I ask to provide a reference?

Send a thank you for the reference letter or email

It is important to politely thank your reference for the recommendation either by email or letter. This ensure that you maintain your professional connections and are well set up for future requests for a reference.

reference thank you

Use this sample employment reference letter to see what a professional letter of reference should include.

How to write a professional job reference list for the employer

Job Reference List Format

Sample Job Reference Letter

What sort of background checks are used for employment?

Be prepared for the reference and background checks employers typically conduct on job candidates.

Find about character references

Job candidates with little or no work experience may need to use character references. Find out more here.


Character Job Reference Letter


Sample Character Reference Letters

Need a job reference letter after a layoff? These sample reference letters will help with this.

Having good references can be the deciding factor in getting the job you want.

Plan ahead and make sure you get the recommendation letter you need.

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