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How to create a professional reference? Templates included

Take a look at our tips for creating an expert job reference. Explore our customizable templates and see how they can help you and your business.

Rose McMillan · December 4, 2023
How to create a professional reference? Templates included

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There’s plenty of times when you might be asked to produce a professional reference. Whether it’s a new job, an exciting collaboration, or a change in career path.

A good reference list helps with all of that, putting crucial information at your fingertips. By using one of our templates you can create professional-looking references quickly and easily. But first let’s look at some tips for guaranteed success.

What is a references template?

A references template is a preformatted document that helps you organize and present your professional and personal references. It’s a guide for listing the names, titles, and contact information of individuals who can verify your qualifications, character, and experience.

You can tailor the template as you like depending on whether you're applying for a job, academic programs, or other opportunities.

When to use a references template?

Use case 1: job applications

When applying for work, a job reference list can be used to validate your professional skills and experience. Use a professional references template to provide information in a standard format that will make it easier for a potential employer to contact your references and increase the chances of landing the job.

To manage all contact details, use a robust CRM system like Capsule – it locates your contacts instantly and neatly organizes all of the information.

Use case 2: character verification

Legal proceedings or rental applications are situations where your character may be evaluated and you will need to provide a character reference. Again, a reference template is of great help here. With one, you can organize character references in a clear and professional way.

Include details such as how long you've known each reference and in what capacity, mentioning specific instances where you have previously demonstrated integrity, reliability, or compassion.

Use case 3: updating professional contacts

Use a professional reference list template for updating your reference information to reflect your current professional network. A template makes this process a little easier, but be sure to always have an up-to-date list of references ready for when opportunities arise.

Check out 9 tips and tricks for optimizing contact management in Capsule.

Use case 4: professional licensing

You will usually have to show a reference letter that proves your skills when obtaining a professional license. A simple sheet template makes this information easier to read and digest.

Fill in a letter template with your accomplishments and send it to the license examiner. We’ve provided free templates for this, so don't stress about how to put it together. Simply add your work references, double-check for typos, and it’s good to go.

Remember to format your references letter well, include only relevant information, and use proper spacing.

Use case 5: business partnership evaluation

Evaluating a potential business partnership calls for scrutiny, much like a hiring manager assesses a prospective employee. A list of professional contacts becomes an asset in this process. These references provide clues into the character, business expertise, and trustworthiness of a potential partner.

You're not just collecting names, you’re writing a reference list that tells stories of how this person or company gets things done. This step is important, because to work well together, all parties need to be on the same page. An evaluation like this helps them work well together for a long time.

Try to highlight specific examples of the person's or company's accomplishments and collaborations in the past.

Use case 6: volunteer positions

Looking for a place to volunteer? Having a reference list ready is a smart move. This list should be a mix of personal and professional contacts who can vouch for both your character and your skills.

Write a reference or update your job reference page and mention people who've seen you in action, e.g. during other volunteer work or jobs. A sample reference could be someone from a group you've previously helped or a supervisor from a past job. They can share stories that highlight your commitment and teamwork.

For job seekers, writing a reference list is a key part of their toolkit just like their resume and cover letter.

3 professional reference templates for you to use

Feel free to fill in the gaps or make changes to the templates.

When you need it: When applying for a new position, you may need to present your reference's contact information and recommendations.

When you need it: In case you want to use references to verify the credibility and track record of a potential business partner.

When you need it: You might be asked for a character reference to personally verify your reputation and behavior. Often for situations like court proceedings, job applications, or apartment rentals.

Write a reference list with the templates

Now, there are no chances that you will forget about the key info. Make a list of professional references. Use our customizable templates and provide whomever needs the references with details like a list of people who may be able to prove your skills gained thanks to a previous position, for example.

Tailor the templates and use them to your advantage. References don’t have to be difficult, it’s all about clear communication. Whether it’s hiring a new role or entering a new business deal, it’s important to manage your communications effectively.

CRM’s are a great tool for businesses looking to improve their communications. Try Capsule free for 14 days and see how it can help support your business.