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Guidelines : For an Unsuitable Employee

Supplying References for Unsuitable Employees

Guidelines and Alternate Phrases

  • Acknowledge the individual’s employment, giving position titles and dates of service.
  • As a system engineer, Alissa Klein worked under my supervision for two years, until August 19–.
  • Alissa Klein held the position of account executive with our corporation for two years, until October 4, 19–.
  • Under the supervision of Moss Summers, Alissa Klein served as account representative to Grayson Corporation. She held that position for two years and then was promoted to a sales position within our regional office, where she worked for the remaining two years of her four-year tenure here.
  • Verify the reasons for the employee’s termination.
  • Alissa left this position to accompany her husband to San Francisco.
  • Alissa left this position to re-evaluate her career goals and plans.
  • Our files show Mr. Hightower gave no reason for his resignation when he left our firm.
  • Alissa left this position to do freelance work.
  • Alissa left this position to establish her own consulting firm.
  • Alissa stated health reasons as her reason for leaving the company.
  • Mr. Hightower’s resignation letter states he left the company to return to the West Coast.
  • Alissa left this position to find employment in the computer area.
  • Mr. Hightower left our employment to join Hill Associates in Austin, Texas.
  • Alissa’s employment was terminated as part of a staff reduction here at Belcher Associates.
  • State any weaknesses but keep in mind legal safeguards: Be honest; make sure you have proof of what you say; bear no malice. If you cannot give a strong recommendation, perhaps you can defer to someone “who can give a stronger recommendation than I.” But don’t let personal feelings affect your evaluation of a person’s abilities; keep in mind people react differently to various supervisory approaches. Remember, often the employee transferring to another department may see your comments.
  • Alissa’s attendance record did not meet our standards of regularity.
  • Alissa’s duties were not always performed with the extra attention to detail required in such a position. Perhaps that would not be the case in another situation.
  • Alissa could not be as flexible as necessary in working the weekend hours our operations required.
  • Alissa’s written communication skills were not satisfactory in the position she held here. In a situation where writing was not part of the job assignment, Alissa possibly would do quite well.
  • Charles is an extremely knowledgeable individual and perhaps would be more challenged in a situation such as yours.
  • Under other conditions with another supervisor, perhaps Denise would have a different outlook on her job.
  • As long as the job did not require much heavy lifting, I think Gerald would make an excellent employee.

Example 1: Sample letter of recommendation for unsuitable employees

Company Name or Letterhead
City, State Zip


City, State Zip

Dear Mr. Slaughterbaugh:

Alissa Klein was employed as an auditor by Hearst Corporation for four years, from June 19– to August 19–. After the first six months, she received a promotion and an appropriate salary increase. During the last 3-1/2 years, she received annual cost-of-living increases.

Ms. Klein left our company to move back to New York and seek employment there.


Example 2: Sample references letters





SUBJECT: Reference for John Guerierre


John did speak to me earlier about moving into your department as soon as there was an opening.

While working for me since July 19–, John has demonstrated considerable ability in all our statistical functions; he is organized and meticulous with details. Seldom do I find a mistake in his work.

He has had a problem, however, with tardiness. My records show he has been tardy 30 percent of the time, and for our department this creates a work-flow problem. Perhaps we run a tighter ship here than most departments do, and this lateness may not be a significant problem in your area. Also, let me add John has gone through a recent divorce that may have had some effect on his initiative to get to work on time. In a new environment with new responsibilities, perhaps he would be more conscientious about punctuality.

If you have other specific questions, please phone.

Example 3: Reference letter for an unsuitable employee

Company Name or Letterhead
City, State Zip


City, State Zip

Dear Mr. Smith:

William Stablather held the position of systems engineer with our firm from May 19– to February 19–. During this period he was promoted twice with appropriate salary increases.

Mr. Stablather left our company to seek employment in the computer retail area.



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