Sample Letter of Recommendation for a Co-Worker

Professional Reference Letter Example for a Colleague, Subordinate

Someone looking to switch companies must sometimes ask trusted colleagues to serve as references during a job search. At a bare minimum, the references’ names will most likely be listed with phone and/or email contact information on the job seeker’s resume; if not, this information may be provided to prospective employers upon request.

Sample Letter of Recommendation for a Co-Worker

Prospective employers often request written letters of recommendation from job applicants. Anyone who agrees to serve as a job reference should be prepared to provide a written reference letter upon request.

In this article, find advice for wording a letter of recommendation for a colleague. The example reference letter below can be easily adapted to attest to any co-worker’s qualifications.

Written Recommendation for a Job – Drafting a Letter of Reference

Prospective employers may request reference letters from job applicants to help narrow down the pool of applicants. The company may specify that the letter of recommendation comes from current or former colleagues.

This tactic provides up-to-date feedback and gives the employer hints as to the person’s reason for leaving a company; if no one can provide a glowing reference, that is a red flag.

These recommendation letters are like reference checks completed ahead of time. They serve as attestations to an applicant’s qualifications and are easily verifiable with quick calls to the writers.

These reference letters must usually be tailored to the job in question. The referrer may be asked to explain why Candidate X is qualified for a specific job.

They may also be asked to provide a character reference and attest to the applicant’s work ethic all in one letter.

This type of letter of recommendation goes to show that the candidate is not only an individual with integrity but is highly qualified for the specific job applied for.

How to Write a Good Character Reference Letter for a Colleague

Wording a letter of reference for a colleague can be tricky. Here are some guidelines for crafting a good job and character recommendation letter for a co-worker:

  • Obtain a job description. Speak to every required qualification to make the applicant look like the perfect choice. However, be truthful in all statements.
  • Establish character through actual examples. Show off the applicant’s integrity by providing examples of times they displayed good character. For instance, try to think of times they made a difficult choice in a time crunch or handled a tough problem diplomatically, and incorporate those examples into the character recommendation letter.
  • Discuss the applicant’s work ethic. Provide specific examples if possible.

Professional Reference Letter Example – Sample Wording to Use

Here is an example professional reference letter that can be adapted to suit a particular individual:

Dear Hiring Manager,

I have worked with Candidate X for the past X years. I feel that Candidate X is highly qualified for the X position at your company for several reasons. Candidate X has been a tremendous asset to Company X. She is an important contributor to (insert names of or types of projects). She consistently delivers high-quality work products, meets or exceeds deadlines, and assists her co-workers at every opportunity. When we were under an especially strict timeline on a recent project, she worked a lot of overtime to ensure the client was pleased. (Replace the preceding sentence with an alternate example as appropriate).

Candidate X exemplifies good character. As an example, she (insert example).

Candidate X is a trustworthy, reliable worker, and I highly recommend her for a position at Company X. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at 555-555-5555 or email me at


Susie Referrer

How to Write a Letter of Recommendation Using the Above Example

To adapt the sample reference letter above to accommodate specifics, replace any references to X with actual names, numbers, etc. Notes in parenthesis are for guidance only; delete these in the actual letter. Also, insert a date and address block as appropriate.

Look at a Performance Review for Examples of Achievements

For examples of what to include in the written recommendation for a similar job, consider looking at the individual’s annual appraisal for hints. A 360 appraisal or similar report can remind the referrer of actual examples.

A manager would have access to this, but a non-manager could simply ask the job candidate for a reference copy.

In a professional work environment, it is a commonplace to receive requests for written letters of recommendation from colleagues. Use the tips in this article to craft a nice personal reference letter for a co-worker.