Your job is coming to an end, and you’d like to request a reference letter from your employers. You can ask for one, but you should never assume that they will write one for you. Below are a few helpful tips to ensure you get the reference letter you desire.

When Should You Ask?

If your job is coming to an end amicably and you have an exit plan for your job, it’s okay to ask for the letter when you’re developing your exit plan. It’s always good to give a deadline, as employers get busy and are possibly caught up in finding your replacement. If your job is ending unexpectedly or not on good terms, it may be good to wait a day or so to let the news sink in before requesting a reference letter.

Now that the news of you leaving has settled, it’s okay to ask: I know my leaving is hard for everyone, but would you be able to write me a letter of reference for my portfolio. Your input will really help me with future job searches.

The Letter

Many employers may tell you to write your own reference letter and they’ll sign it. It’s better that they write it themselves, as it should express their thoughts and feelings of the work you did while in their employ. You can provide some guidance as to what it should include including:

  • Experience
  • Performance
  • Child care skills (for Nannies)
  • Strengths
  • Personality

You could also offer to provide them with this template, which can take away some of the stress of writing a letter. Be sure to get a signature on the reference letter.

The Washburn Agency is here to answer any of your questions when it comes to reference letters or any other issues or concerns you may have. We’re here to ensure you are happy and confident in your job.