How to request a reference

How to request a reference

When you are considering offering a stranger a job as your Personal Assistant, it is important to find as much relevant information about him or her as possible. It is important that you ask for and receive references so you can check as far as possible that the claims the applicant makes about him or herself are correct. As well as receiving written references, it is important to speak to the referees as this will enable you to gather further information on the individual as to their suitability for the post.

Below is a sample letter to referees.

Your Name
Your Address
Your Post Code
Your Phone Number

Referee’s Name
Referee’s Address
Referee’s Post Code


Dear _________________

Re: Reference request in respect of _________________.

I am considering offering _________________ the post of Personal Assistant (see enclosed Job Description). He/she has submitted your name as a referee. The job offer will be dependant upon suitable references.

I would be most grateful if you could complete the enclosed short pro-forma and return it to me in the stamped, addressed envelope provided. Any information will be strictly confidential.

Thank you for your co-operation.

Yours sincerely

Your signature

To make sure that you get the information that you require about your potential Personal Assistant, you may wish to design a short questionnaire to ask each referee to complete.

Below is an example of a questionnaire that could be sent as a request to a referee.

Request for reference questionnaire

I would be grateful if you would take the time to complete the following short form;

Name of Applicant: _________________

Name of Referee: _________________

In what capacity do you know the applicant? _________________

How long have you known this applicant? _________________

Do you consider the applicant to be fully reliable and punctual in turning up for work? ______________

Is this applicant likely to handle his/her employer’s business with honesty and integrity, while maintaining confidentiality? _______________

Do you think this applicant is good at forming healthy working relationships with a wide range of people? _________________

Do you think this applicant is willing and able to respond positively to situations by using their initiative? _________________

Would you consider this applicant good at working as part of a team? _________________

Based on the enclosed Job Description and Personal Specification, do you consider the applicant to be suitable for this post? _________________

Any other relevant comments _______________________

If you are agreeable for me to contact you again should I have any further questions regarding this applicant’s suitability for the post, please provide the following:

Daytime telephone number: _______________________________

Mobile telephone number: _________________________________

Signed _________________

Date _________________

Thank you for your co-operation.

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