How to Write a Reference

Posted 1/21/2022 in Learn by Krista Place

You’ve found the perfect candidate for an in-demand role, but now what?  Being a reference and writing a letter of recommendation can feel overwhelming. Here are a few sample recommendation letters to help you craft your referral.

The hiring manager will decide if they’d like to receive an introduction based on what you write. Highlight why your candidate will be successful in the role. Use examples of their prior experience and always tie it to the required qualifications and skills.

Job Reference Example: Sales & Customer Success

Coming with both a sales and customer success background, Andrew credits the success of his career journey to having multiple lenses on the customer. He currently is the program manager for the Business Value Services program at Smartsheet where he is focused on enabling the global field teams to present as a unified team to the customer. The program helps to quantify and articulate Smartsheet’s immediate value add and supports the CS team to efficiently secure renewals and up-sell opportunities. With his professional services background, he is an expert in process mapping/reengineering/ improvements. Throughout his career, he has developed training and collateral to support growing teams. 

Job Reference Example: Customer Success Manager

Sophia has been with Zenefits for 5 yrs, starting with them when they were under 100 employees and including a big pivot in their business model. She has been in the CSM role for 3+ years. Recently promoted to a senior CSM, she works with Zenefits highest revenue companies. Her role includes ongoing relationship management to optimize up-sell opportunities, quarterly check-ins with executives, triaging issues to specialist teams, and being the customer voice to the product team. Through her work, she has become proficient in numerous platforms including Salesforce, Zendesk, and Jira. She loves that she gets to identify the best process, provide resources and resolutions, and diagnose problems daily for her customers. 

Job Reference Example: Account Executive

Dillon was the second hire on Uber for Business’ sales team when the product was merely a concept. This role gave him the opportunity to:

  • project manage across engineering, product, legal and compliance to surface feature requests, navigate regulations and contracts in the emerging market
  • run extensive pilot programs to get buy-in across stakeholders (chief security officers, COOs, and CHROs) 
  • target enterprise-level companies, closing marquee deals like Barclays and Nielsen
  • build out processes and the sales strategy still used on the team today

Dillon consistently exceeded quota expectations and was a top seller globally. He was promoted two times before taking on a leadership position, where he managed a team of mid-market AEs. 

Additionally, Dillon started in SDR and BDR roles at Salesforce where he built and developed the hunting and prospecting muscle and mindset necessary to be successful in sales. 

Job Reference Example: Customer Support

Amy has built CS teams for two start-ups (B2B saas and DTC). She started at PaySimple as a support specialist before moving into a managerial position within technical support. In this role, she:

  • Built out the help center and optimized tools for self-service
  • Identified segmentation for different tiers of support
  • Was highly cross-functional with AM, sales and marketing leadership
  • Was responsible for hiring, training and SLA management

After PaySimple, Amy moved to Craftsy where she quickly was promoted to the director role:

  • Scaled team to 25 associates plus layering on managers
  • Managed headcount scaling and associated tiering structure
  • Built helpdesk and implemented chatbox
  • Entrenched in all aspects of the company (highly cross-functional)
  • Most proud of overseeing the acquisition by Bluprint

Amy loves and thrives in a start-up environment. She is excited by the opportunity to build the CX function from scratch. She is also excited about the established relationships that get built in a b2b environment and would be eager to take on customer success, too. 

Job Reference Example: Enterprise Sales

Alex has nearly 10 years of sales in the technology and services space. He began as an SDR, and worked his way up to Enterprise Sales, with a focus on new business acquisition. In that time he has watched sales evolve from ‘consultative’ to ‘social’ and now into a new world of all-around company coverage. He is a collaborator, and a team player, who believes successful selling in the enterprise space is a team sport. Alex has experience selling in the c-suite, as well as multithreading the multiple stakeholders that are typically required to make a six-figure+ deal happen by using various social-selling and prospecting tactics. His goal is to make an impact as both a leader and student in helping evangelize the value of your services to provide value to future customers.