Job reference – important document in an application portfolio

Job reference - important document in an application portfolio

The reference is a document where all the results and achievements of the candidate must be presented. This document should provide an overview of the functions an applicant has held and the professional skills he or she has mastered in the previous job. It is not a simple description of the applicant's professional and personal skills, it is a qualified testimony of a person's professional activity.

Career experts believe that the employer's reference is an effective tool when applying for a job. The human resources department of the company where you want to work needs a clear characterization of your previous employer. This is quite logical, because every employer is looking for a highly qualified employee.

this document is written by the previous employer, where you worked before. It should definitely be created positively and the boss should emphasize the strengths of the employee. However, all wording and content elements must be presented in a friendly and positive manner, but some pitfalls sometimes occur in the text.

The reference reflects the concrete real facts from the professional life of the employee with his work tasks as well as work results. The description of the human traits can also be presented for this purpose.

The main objective of this testimonial in the application file is to give a true characteristic of the applicant's. Very often, the reference plays a decisive role in the application process, along with the CV or motivation letter. But if it is poorly prepared, so it can become as a disadvantage for the future application.

What are the legal aspects associated with the employer's reference?

You can't say that you can't find a good job without this document. It is not true. Sometimes the applicant sends to his potential employer only a resume or a letter of application and gets a desired job. But if you dream about the crass job, the application documents must be prepared diligently and completely. The job reference is an obligatory document in this process.

This document increases the chances of each applicant to get a desired job and to prove himself as a highly qualified specialist. In addition, the applicant is protected against the "bad" job reference in the legal framework. Employers are obliged to truthfully state the information about their employee in the certificate. If you find something negative or wrong in the reference and disagree with the employer's evaluations, you may go to labor court with this document and file a charge.

The lawyer in an employment law claims that this reference is a confirmation of an applicant's work duties and hours, as well as the assessment of his competences. The relations of the employer and the employee are specified in a lecture. It also specifies the real terms of the beginning and the end of employment and the conditions of cooperation.

When is it allowed to receive this document? The law says that the employer's reference must be drawn up with the termination of employment. If the employee does not get a reference, he can ask for it from his boss. However, every employer is obliged to.

How to structure a reference?

When you see the job reference for the first time, you need to understand whether it was made correctly and correctly. This text has its special structure, which is formed according to the goal. If you want to create a model job reference, you should follow this plan:

  • Heading (job reference or simply testimonial)
  • Introduction (first name and surname, date of birth, how long one has worked in a company);
  • Description of the company;
  • Work duties and tasks of the employee;
  • Evaluation of the employee's work activity:
  • Expertise;
  • performance;
  • Quality of the achieved work results;
  • Teamwork;
  • personal qualities that are helpful at work;
  • conclusions (for example, thanks or reasons for termination).

This is what a qualified job reference looks like. It is not possible to present all this information on one page. Sometimes it takes several pages. As a rule, the reference is a continuous text or is prepared as bullet points. There can also be some lists in the text, for example, if there is talk about skills.

The simple version of the document is somewhat one page, where only the most important data are presented:

The employer, who has highly appreciated his employee, chooses a comprehensive form of the work certificate. One should also mention that the structure of this text is not fixed. In terms of content, it would be better to describe the mentioned points, but the creator chooses which of them to present.

The preparation of the employer's reference: How to choose correctly the formulations?

The experts warn that you should choose all the words correctly. It must be the true facts and evaluations that you can prove. Also take care of the punctuation marks and form of this text. The form should be convenient for a reader. It would be better to present the actual information as a plan. The most important things are remembered immediately and not so much time is spent reading them.

What does this text start with? The heading. At the top of the page you should mention whether it is a simple or extended form of the document. After that the introduction goes. This can begin with such a phrase: "Mrs. X, born on 01.01.1980, entered 06.05.2015 in our company". It is possible to add such a phrase: "Mrs. X worked as a German teacher from… to…". Thus, the passive constructions of the language are not desirable, because they make this sentence even more official and dry.

Here we specify the master data of the employee. As a rule, this includes the first and last name, age and place of work.

After the introduction goes the enumeration of professional duties and performance description of the employee in a company. In other words, it is called the tasks that the employee has performed. This information is known to the personnel officer and it is also specified in a work presentation. The quality of work can be shown here with the individual words: hardworking, creative, conscientious.

In this part, the evaluation of the relations between the team and this employee is accurate. In this process, the potential employers understand whether the applicant can easily communicate with the others and work in a team.

What professional and personal qualities are important to mention?

The information provided by the employee refers to his professional skills, professional experience, willingness to learn and achievements. More precisely, these characteristics can be presented in this way:

  1. Professional skills:
    • Level of expertise;
    • Timeliness;
    • Capacity for further training;
    • Analysis / judgment;
    • Organizational skills;
    • Creativity.
    • Work readiness:
      • Quality of the results obtained;
      • individual achievement;
      • personal initiative;
      • Willingness to take responsibility;
      • Quality of professional results:
        • Productivity;
        • Target achievement;

        In the employer's reference, one speaks a lot about the motivation of the employee and his professional goals as well as personal development. This is also highly appreciated by all employers. These features can be presented as a list in the text or with additional explanations in the form of the continuous text.

        The successful professional life consists of the stages of professional development. One should show all these stages in the text. In a job reference you have to see a way of the career. Also, don't forget to mention the certificates or other awards. They serve as advantages of each testimonial.

        The style of the description should be official but friendly. You may also use epithets to show more clearly the plus points of the employee.

        What does a potential employer want to read in an employment reference?

        In fact, the description of the acquired professional knowledge and confirmation of the professional experience of the employee are the most important points. Anyone who wants to properly create such a text, can first look at the free templates on the Internet. On the net there are also the constructors, which form the work certificates according to your data. It is recommended to write such documents yourself to avoid the ambiguity and mistakes.

        First of all, it is very important for employers to get the truthful information about an applicant. Thus, when reading the work certificate, he pays attention to such components:

        • On what paper was the document printed?
        • Was it written by the staff person or personally by the boss?
        • What professional skills does the applicant have?
        • Does the applicant have applicable work experience?
        • Stands the signature of the head and the company stamp?

        The above elements are also very important and indicate a serious workplace. Some specialists believe that the employee can send a finished reference to his boss. Is it correct? Obviously, everything depends on the real relations between the boss and the employee. Such steps can be taken if they are really good at conversation. Otherwise it is recommended to withhold such steps.

        What is a secret code and how to use it in an employer's reference??

        As it has already been said, all references must be correctly and positively prepared by the supervisor in order not to put obstacles in the way of the employee in further career entry. However, not all evaluation formulations are friendly. In this case one uses a secret code. Is this about spying? In no case! People talk about the negative statements and evaluations that can be hidden in the "positive" words.

        One of the most famous German career guides M. Wehrle has weeded out seven failed phrases that can spoil even a positive job reference. We introduce some of them:

        "He has done his work to our complete satisfaction". What can this phrase mean? It seems as if the employee was given the word "last!" would like to say. So the employee performed the tasks slowly and boringly. It means he does not like his work. This is a negative evaluation. And it means school grade "one.

        "He was appreciated for his punctuality and diligence". These are two supposedly positive qualities in the description. Without a doubt, every employee must be punctual and diligent. If you have shown only such qualities, it is not so good. The employee can do nothing more. This phrase negatively influences the characteristics of the employee.

        This is the role of the secret code, when it is necessary to read the real message between the lines.

        What is a grade in an employer's reference?

        Through the grades the employer evaluates his employee. In total there are four grades. Some determine 3 or 5 grades, but these 4 are the most significant. So these grades denote the professional levels of the worker:

        • Grade 4: the work is evaluated as "very good". The employee was always productive and completed all tasks in a timely and creative manner.
        • Grade 3: One evaluates the work as "good". Almost always the employee was excellent, but sometimes he made mistakes.
        • Grade 2: The level of work is described as "satisfactory". The satisfaction of the employer fluctuates. Something had to be worked on.
        • Grade 1: The evaluation of the work – "sufficient". This is an average grade and it means that the work results were normal.

        The lowest ratings are "poor" and "insufficient". One points this out in the job reference. These grades are similar to school grades. The law says that all statements in the employer's reference need not be ambiguous and damning in any way. However, one uses these veiled characteristics to reflect the so-called warning signals to the colleagues.

        What should be written at the end of the job reference?

        It can be said that this part of the document is considered a conclusion. On the one hand, it is true. The writer describes in the conclusion that the employee is professional, progressive and perspective. Besides these content components, there are also the following points that are essential at this stage:

        • Reasons for leaving;
        • Acknowledgement and regret;
        • Heading of the superior;
        • Date and company stamp.

        These points are the components of the professional work label. When mentioning the reasons for leaving, the most common phrase used is: "Mr. X is leaving our company at his own request." This wording is the best variant that makes a good impression on the reader. But the employment relationship can also end for other reasons. One means not only employee dismissal, but employer dismissal, or end of the lecture.

        The potential employers read this part of the reference very carefully, because this information is also significant. It is ideal to mention the desire to develop further as the reason for the resignation. This is the ideal case.

        Why are the last lines of the reference so important??

        In one sentence of the reference the employer can express his wishes to the employee and his regrets. In fact, this text is not so extensive, therefore the creator must present some content elements in one phrase.

        The "thanks and regrets" part of a job reference can also serve as an evaluation of the relationships between the team and the employee. In the end, such statements are appropriate: "The team appreciates Ms. X as a competent specialist and we regret that we have to terminate the cooperation".

        If the employer is not satisfied with his employee, he can, for example, make such an assessment: "Ms. X leaves us by mutual agreement of the parties."This phrase does not always mean that the employee has been dismissed. Very often it means that the time frame of the project is over and the project does not require continuation.

        The acknowledgement can also be different. Usually, a thank-you note is distinguished from the description of professional achievements, professionalism, personal and professional qualities. One answers here the question: why was the colleague helpful for us?

        Another good tradition is when employers wish employees "all the best" or "successful career" at the end of the certificate. Here, the wishes can also refer to further professional development and happiness in private life.

        Headline and company stamp at the end

        Still to some obligatory elements of the work certificate. These are the confirmations that the presented information is true. The representative of the company that has prepared the reference is responsible for every word in document. That is why he puts his signature under it. In no way forget to write the current date. This is also very important.

        Finally, it must also be said that it would be better to get a proper job reference from the previous boss. This is really a ticket to the further career. If someone asks you if you need a reference, always say "Yes"!"

        Before writing this text you can talk to the boss, as far as they have kept good relations. Convince your administrator to use the correct wording without pitfalls. If you are really a good specialist, so do not be afraid that your work can be poorly evaluated.

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