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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Feel free to fill in the gaps or make changes to the templates.
1. Reference template for a new job you are applying for
[Your name] [Your professional title] [Your address] [City, State, Zip] [Your email] [Your phone number] [Date] [Recipient's name] [Recipient's title] [Company name] [Company address] [City, State, Zip] Dear [Recipient's name], I am writing to recommend [Candidate's full name] for the position of [Job title] at [Company name]. In the [Time period] I have known them, [Candidate's name] has consistently demonstrated exceptional skills in [Key skill 1] and [Key skill 2], as well as a dedicated work ethic and professionalism. I am confident that [he/she/they] would be an excellent addition to your team. Sincerely, [Signature]
When you need it: When applying for a new position, you may need to present your reference's contact information and recommendations.
2. Reference sheet template for business partnership evaluation
[Your name] [Your position/title] [Your company] [Your company address] [City, State, Zip] [Your email] [Your phone number] [Date] [Recipient's name] [Recipient's position/title] [Recipient's company] [Recipient's company address] [City, State, Zip] Dear [Recipient's name], I am writing to provide a professional assessment of [Business partner's full name/Company name], with whom I have had the pleasure of working for [Time period] in [Capacity of the business relationship, e.g., a collaborative project/joint venture]. During our partnership, [Business partner's name/Company name] has demonstrated a strong commitment to [Key business value, e.g., excellence/ innovation/integrity]. Their ability to [Specific positive business attribute or achievement, e.g., deliver results/foster a team environment/drive innovation] has been exceptional and contributed directly to [Specific outcome or benefit, e.g., the success of our projects/growth in our market segment]. Based on my experience, I believe [Business partner's name/Company name] would be a valuable asset to [Your company or the partnership being considered]. They bring not only their expertise but also a [Positive trait or quality, e.g., reliable/strategic] approach to business, which aligns well with [Potential partnership goals or values]. Please contact me at [Your contact information] if you require any further details or discussion regarding this recommendation. Sincerely, [Signature]
When you need it: In case you want to use references to verify the credibility and track record of a potential business partner.
3. Character reference template
[Your name] [Your position/title] [Your organization/company] [Your address] [City, State, Zip] [Your email] [Your phone number] [Date] [Recipient's name] [Recipient's title/position] [Recipient's organization/company] [Recipient's address] [City, State, Zip] Dear [Recipient's name], I am writing to vouch for the character of [Individual's full name], whom I have known for [Time period] as [Your relationship to the individual, e.g., a colleague/friend/mentor]. Throughout the time I have known [Individual's name], [he/she/they] have displayed high levels of integrity, responsibility, and kindness in both personal and professional settings. [Individual's name] has been a positive force in [Specific instances or settings, e.g., our community/the workplace], often going above and beyond to support those around [him/her/them]. [His/Her/Their] actions consistently reflect [his/her/their] commitment to [Positive traits or values, e.g., honesty/ community service]. I am confident that [Individual's name] will bring these same qualities to [Situation for which the character reference is being provided, e.g., any future endeavors/the role at your organization]. Please feel free to contact me should you require further information. Sincerely, [Signature]
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.
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.
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