Requesting References

To avoid possible legal complications, some companies decline to provide any other information than dates of employment about former employees. Sometimes, however, you may receive helpful information, especially if it is complimentary to your applicant. Often a letter requesting, “Any details that may be helpful in our decision to hire John Jones will be sincerely appreciated,” may get better results than a prepared questionnaire. Also, a person other than an employer may be more willing to share his personal observations and to provide details than a business concern might be.

Letter 1

Dear [[Recipient]]:

Your name has been given us by (employee’s name) as an employment reference.  We would appreciate an early response because (his or her) continued employment depends in part upon the receipt of appropriate recommendations from former employers.

Our company has employed (employee’s name) in the position of (position)  which requires skill in dealing with the day-to-day behavior of mildly disturbed adolescents.

We would appreciate receiving a straight-forward appraisal of (his or her) ability to provide professional quality social work services to such children in a residential group home setting.

Would your company be willing to hire (him or her) again?

We greatly appreciate your assistance.

Letter 2

Dear [[Recipient]]:

Janet Austin has applied here for a secretarial position.  She stated that she worked for your company from 19ˍˍ to 19ˍˍ.

Could you give me the exact dates of her employment and any other details you can that would be helpful to us and to her?

Your help will be sincerely appreciated, and we will reciprocate any time you ask.