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Writing a reference


Staff member
Recently I've had a student working with me as part of their Uni placement.
They've proved to be a great help (more than I thought) and very enthusiastic about doing some of the more simple stuff and more recently a bit more creative and technical tasks.
To be honest I'm going to be sad to see that back of them but an internship has come up in the big smoke for a great company and they have been invited to an interview.
I've been asked if I'll give them a reference and although having mentored a few people over the years, I've never wrote one before.
I'd really like to do my best by them without going over the top so if anyone's had any experience of either writing one or knows what to look for in a good one I'd be very grateful of any advice.
I'm thinking I should outline what they've done with me, from when and how enthusiastic and the like.
Am I on the right track?


Senior Member
Wish I could help out here more mate but I havent got much experience in writing references. All I would say is think what their next potential employer will be looking for, you are basically giving the next company some background info on this designer based on your own experience of working with them, so I would include a mention on 1. design skills, 2. personality, 3. professionalism (time keeping, enthusiasm, effort etc) and then lastly 4. what a great addition they will be etc etc


Yeah sorry, I did see this thread but I didn't think I had much to contribute for this question :(
I guess, expanding on what dave said, imagine you're going to take on a new employee. What would you want to know about them? It might also be a good idea to list down all of the "little things" that this person did that made a positive impression.
How much hand-holding did you have to do, or did they just pick things up quickly? I've worked with younger people before and my god, some times it's just not worth it... the amount of explaining you have to do some times, and the amount of incorrect assumptions you have to fix some times makes a project just unbearable.
On the topic of communication, how easy was it to explain things to them? Do they just get it, or do you have to spend a lot of time getting them to understand specifics of the job, techniques etc.
What about enthusiasm? Do they seem self-motivated with a strong desire to achieve or do you reckon they might be one of those "This is my job... whatever.." kinda people?
Personally, as an employer, it would be this kinda stuff that I would be most interested in, information that you can only learn about someone after working with them for a long period of time. Things like punctuality and professionalism would be the base requirements, I wouldn't even consider someone who couldn't be bothered to turn up on time or behave decently.
Hope my rambling has helped in some way.. :S


Staff member
They sure have.
I'm going to get putting it down so thanks SO much for the input and advice chaps. :thumbup1: