Reference Letter Samples From an Employee's Manager

Portrait of smiling mixed race businesswoman at computer
••• JGI/Jamie Grill / Getty Images

Have you, as a manager, been asked by an employee to write a letter of reference on their behalf? If a departing employee has demonstrated a strong work ethic, diligently performed their daily task assignments, and been a positive member of your team, then it is appropriate to write a reference letter for them should they decide to leave your employer to pursue new career opportunities.

What to Include in the Letter

The reference letter should include:

  • In what capacity the employee worked for you
  • How long the employee was on the job
  • The skills and attributes that will make the person a strong candidate for employment
  • Why you are endorsing the individual
  • How to contact you for follow-up questions

Sample Reference Letter From a Manager for an Employee

You can use this reference letter example as a model. Download the template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online), or read the text version below.

reference letter sample from an employee's manager
©TheBalance 2018
Download the Word Template

Sample Reference Letters for an Employee (Text Version)

I have worked very closely with Ms. Moody during the several years that she has served as an assistant in my office. Michele has excelled in this role, exhibiting one of the highest levels of productivity I have seen in an assistant during my 20-year tenure with the company. Michele produces a high volume of work while consistently maintaining high standards for quality and accuracy.

Michelle possesses the ultimate "can do" attitude while taking on all tasks with a positive energy and a smile. Her upbeat personality and engaging personal style enable her to interact effectively with clients and staff. She is very well organized and keeps track of the details necessary to coordinate events of this kind and run an efficient office.

Proactive in anticipating rising administrative needs, she takes initiative to go beyond the expected parameters of her job.

All the intangibles that lead to success in the workplace are in order with Michele. There will be no unpleasant surprises and I am confident she will fit in and add to office morale.

I volunteered to write this recommendation for Michele because I am very grateful for her contributions to our office and very confident that she has the intelligence, work ethic, and communications skills to add value wherever she works.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about this outstanding young woman.


FirstName LastName
ABCD Company

Sample Reference Letter from Manager #2

I have known John Smith for the past year while he has worked as an Accounting Assistant in the Company Accounting Office. I have been consistently impressed by both John's attitude towards his work and his performance on the job.

His interpersonal and communication skills have allowed him to develop productive working relationships with both our clients and our staff. John has the listening and interviewing skills necessary to extract information from our clientele while performing financial assessments.

John possesses solid writing skills which have enabled him to compose quality correspondence. He also has the analytical skills to diagnose problems and devise viable solutions. His ability to remain unflustered during frenzied periods like tax season proves his ability to work well under pressure.

I recommend him for employment without reservation. Please let me know if you need further information.

Jane Doe


This sample reference letter is from a manager who has been transferred. The employee asked for a letter for her files so she wouldn't have to track him down for a reference letter in the future.

Sample Reference Letter from a Manager #3

To Whom it May Concern:

Jane Doe has worked for me as a Merchandiser Supervisor for the past two years. While under my supervision, her responsibilities have included hiring, training, and supervising store service personnel.

She has established an outstanding rapport with store managers and owners. Her ability to get work done through the service personnel has been outstanding. Jane is highly respected by the people who work under her supervision; she is organized, thorough in her paperwork, and is always on time.

Jane has done an excellent job and I would highly recommend her for a position with your organization.

Please let me know if I can provide you with any further information.


John Smith

More Reference Letter Examples

More examples of reference letters written for friends, co-workers, clients, employees, students, teachers, vendors, and professional connections.