An employee experience letter is one of the most valuable things in the employment decision-making process. Also known as an employment verification or reference letter, this document certifies a prospect's experience.
Typically, an employee experience letter is written by the employer - former or current - and can confirm the details of a prospect's employment. This helps future employers understand how a person's skills fit into their establishment. It can also help new managers understand the talents and aspirations of prospective employees who need a career path change but are willing to remain under the same employer.
An employee experience letter can help managers with new employee onboarding. And here's a survey by Gallup that tells us where successful onboarding can lead:
There are many things that employers can include in the employee experience letter, but some of the basic information that should definitely be there includes
- The prospect's job title
- Their former responsibilities
- The projects they were involved in
- Some notable contributions
- The prospect's soft and hard skills
The goals and purposes of creating an employee experience letter could vary depending on the situation. One of the staples is the verification of employment.
Another reason HR departments and new employers may need an employee experience letter would be to see the prospect's job responsibilities. This can help new employers understand and confirm the prospect's skills and experience in a field. It also provides insight into what the new candidate can achieve.
Recognizing and appreciating an employee's achievements and contributions is another reason employers create an employee experience letter. This can boost the employee's morale and create a company culture where achievements are celebrated rather than taken for granted.
An employee experience letter, therefore, can be used for various purposes other than just verifying talents to a new employer. But how can you create an employee experience letter to remember?
How to create an employee experience letter
Apart from the job title in an employee experience letter, it would help if you mentioned the time spent under each role. For example, if someone was an email marketer for two years, mention that. If their previous role was a community manager for another two years, note that as well. This will help prospective employers understand soft and hard skills.
Also, be truthful about the candidate's dates of employment. This can prove their experience and association with your brand and organization. It can also help the new employer or manager understand what their job offer letter should entail regarding salary and extra benefits. On that note, remember the certifications and seminars the prospect attended and received under your employment. As mentioned earlier, they could make a real difference regarding the job offer letter.
Finally, ensure all the details of your employee experience letter are updated. Perhaps the candidate didn't have all the skills they acquired down the line at the time you created the letter. Check this and ensure its accuracy.
But let's get into more detail.
1. The header
Starting off with your employee experience letter's header, this is the place to include the primary information of your brand and organization.
This may not be an email marketing campaign, but there is no reason why you shouldn't do your best and treat it like one. Therefore, make sure you include some branded content.
Remember that the purpose of an employee experience letter is to thank candidates for all their hard work, acknowledge their contributions, and recommend their skills to a new employer. In email marketing terms, this could've been a welcome or thank-you email campaign.
The header should include your branded colors and the company's logo. Including those can give more credibility to the letter as a whole. It's one thing for the candidate to claim having worked for your brand and a completely different thing to be able to prove it.
Of course, branded content cannot do wonders on its own. This is where you'll need to use other information, like the company's contact information. Also, remember to include the date when you wrote the letter.
These elements will make your body copy that follows look more trustworthy. Now, as elements, they are pretty standardized. This means you could see some real benefit from some HR automation tools that help you maintain consistency in your efforts.
2. The footer
The footer of the employee experience letter is just as important as the header. The header is the place to make your brand known and provide proof about your organization. On the other hand, the footer is where your credibility as a person shines.
The footer typically displays your information as a company representative. This means you'll need to include your name, job title, and email address. If you're willing and able to provide clarifications upon request regarding the candidate's skills and position in your company, it would be best to incorporate your phone number into the footer as well.
These bits of information give you more credibility and allow the recipient to contact you directly as a company representative. And since you are a company representative, try to include some additional information about the company and your digital presence as well.
Your LinkedIn profile, company social media handles, and your company's website are great ways to establish trust and credibility. Consider linking to a dedicated company page about you or your team, if there is one.
The footer of your employee experience letter is your email signature. You may need a confidentiality statement or disclaimer that indicates the sensitivity of the information in your body copy. The confidentiality statement can also include how the recipient can distribute the information.
Overall, the footer of an employee experience letter should provide additional information about the company and the person writing the letter, proving its validity.
3. The body copy
An employee experience letter used to differ from a recommendation letter. Nowadays, more than most companies and recruiters use the two terms interchangeably.
An experience letter refers to a specific time period when a prospect was employed with your company. On the other hand, a recommendation letter recommends the candidate. This means that its goal is to outline the skills and achievements of the candidate.
In 2023 your employee experience letter's body copy should include both. After all, the market is highly competitive, and you want to give your recommendation all the merit they deserve.
The body copy of your employee experience letter is the main content. It should comprehensively summarize the employee's history, achievements, and contributions.
Start with the employee's information. Their name and responsibilities should go first. This will help you establish the tone of your employee experience letter.
Continue with the employee's relevant experience: the job responsibilities, position, duties, and soft and hard skills. Comment on their work ethic, reliability, and ability to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines. This will work wonders for your body copy. Also, note how the candidate utilized your efforts to drive a great employee experience while under your employment. This will allow the reader to understand how the candidate can use resources as a new hire.
After that, outline some soft and hard skills on both the candidate's and your side. This will take a bit more digging, as you may have to explain the reasons behind the termination of your collaboration with the candidate. Why is the employee interested in trying something different? Why did you choose to go in another direction?
Since you're writing an employee experience letter, you should be clear that you considered the prospect to be a valuable part of your team and that the decision to part ways was amicable.
Include any relevant education or professional certifications acquired during the time you collaborated with the candidate. Highlight their value. Also, include a brief evaluation of the candidate's performance, apart from the soft and hard skills. This will bring some much-needed feedback to the employee and help potential employers understand the prospect's quality of work.
Notable projects, initiatives, or personal achievements should be celebrated in an employee experience letter. The potential employer should know all about their extra achievements. Mention things like your prospect being captain of the fire safety team or the first one to take the initiative when your team should complete some tedious work.
You should also include:
- The time period of the prospect's employment.
- Any change in titles.
- Any significant milestones and tasks in your employee experience letter.
On that note, mention their strengths and any constructive pointers you may have. This will help the recipient understand the work schedule, employee benefits, and salary the prospect will opt for.
Close the employee experience letter with a summary of your experience with the candidate and any other relevant remarks. This will help the recipient remember all of the main pointers of your employee experience letter.
4. The design
An employee experience letter's design could be as important as the information it provides. As we mentioned, including some branded content can improve credibility and make your employee experience letter memorable, but is that the only thing you should do?
- Improve accessibility
Creating an accessible employee experience letter ensures your content is easy to read and understand. All audiences should be able to interact with your employee experience letter, including users and managers with visual impairments.
The first step you should take would be to use simple language. Too many technical terms are not your friend at that stage. Your employee experience letter may need to be read by company executives not well-versed in the terminology.
Secondly, make sure to use a clear font. It will make your employee experience letter look more professional. In accessibility terms, however, it will help people with visual impairments easily read it. And remember to use sufficient contrast. Black text on a white background or vice-versa can make all the difference.
If you use images, use alt-text as well to describe them. It will help immensely if your recipient uses screen readers. Also, consider alternative employee experience letter formats - an audio version, for example, or a printed version in Braille.
Use a color-blind-friendly palette and split your content with headings and bullet points. This will make your content easier to read and will improve its flow.
Much like an email campaign, your employee experience letter should cater to an audience with disabilities as much as it does to an able-bodied person. These steps ensure that all potential employers and managers have equal access to necessary employee information.
- Create text-only employee experience letters
A text-only employee experience letter could carry a lot of benefits that go beyond accessibility. Of course, text-only letters are more accessible to users with visual impairments who rely on screen readers, but they can carry multiple benefits.
Text-only employee experience letters are more clear and more concise. They're easier to understand and digest. Also, they're compatible with all devices and email services.
Text-only employee experience letters are easier to save and distribute as well. You can convert a Word document to a PDF, copy and paste it, or attach it to another email. Not to mention that a text-only email is easier to escape various spam traps.
Text-only employee experience letters help make the content more searchable, portable, and accessible for all users and candidates.
- Responsive design
An employee experience letter should be responsive enough for future employers to access from any device. People access information through any screen, be it a smartphone or a desktop computer.
A responsive employee experience letter should adapt to the screen size and orientation of the user's device. Use a single-column email template when creating your employee experience letter.
Creating a responsive employee experience letter can lead to a better user experience and boost the candidate's chances of getting noticed and selected. This is because the reader can engage with your content, making the information more engaging and accessible.
Also, responsive design leads to more credibility and consistent branding. Broken elements are like the wrong font - unprofessional and an amateur move overall. Not to mention that a responsive design can help readers download and use the letter for future reference.
As a whole, responsive design is not something to be taken lightly in 2023. And this includes employee experience letters.
Some extra tips to write an employee experience letter
An employee experience letter carries some components that could fly under the radar in terms of importance. But this is not the case.
1. Your subject line
The subject line is essential when it comes to an employee experience letter for several reasons. First of all, you need an attention-grabbing subject line that boosts the candidate's chances of getting picked. A clear and compelling subject line can make all the difference between the letter being opened or ignored. This is the time to consider using a free tool like a subject line tester to ensure you're giving your prospect all the chances they could get.
Of course, this doesn't mean that you should be cryptic or too much. Gone are the days of subject lines that looked like "EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE LETTER - [FIRST AND LAST NAME]". Communicate the purpose clearly, and don't be too much about it. Try to personalize the letter and make it more relevant to the recipient.
That way, you'll create a connection that is not forced and will leave a positive experience. This will make your subject line more recognizable and your email more trustworthy.
2. Use personalization
The fact that an employee experience email is personal doesn't make it personalized. On the contrary, it can be generic and dry. And it would be best if yours stood out.
A personalized experience letter can make the experience more engaging for the future employer or manager and be more relevant to the individual described in the letter. That way, you have better chances of building trust, rapport, and a more positive relationship with the recipient.
Personalization equals effort, after all. So, manage your data, understand your recipient, and show that you value the candidate enough to create a highly personalized experience letter that outlines the individual's contributions. This will improve the employee's morale and chances at a new position.
3. Ensure you have the right data
For several reasons, having the right data is vital in an employee experience letter. It can make your employee experience letters more trustworthy. Additionally, having the correct data ensures the future employer can receive and understand vital information about the candidate, such as the job title or the projects they were involved in.
This is where you must ensure you know how to manage your data. Not having the correct data will make you come off as a non-transparent former employer or manager. It can also harm you in terms of meeting legal requirements, as the candidate could take legal action if you provide false information and make them miss their chance.
It's not just about creating a personalized experience. It's also about being legally compliant and understanding how a mistake, no matter how small, can harm a candidate's chances.
Samples employee experience letter templates
Since we've outlined what it takes for your employee experience letter to be the best one, let's put it into practice.
Below, we'll look into 15 employee experience letter templates and see how they're effective for each niche and methodology used.
1. The personalized one
As you can see, this employee experience letter certifies the prospect's experience and value in the team. It's a great way to reflect on the candidate's contributions and achievements and as a testimonial for future employers.
While it may not be an employee experience letter aimed at an employer but a letter celebrating achievements, it will be beneficial for your employee's email outreach down the line, should they require a career change.
2. The generic one
This employee experience letter is generic; the prospect can use it for all intents and purposes. Its main aim is to certify the employee's previous work experience and value within a team and a company. It serves as a letter of recommendation to a future employer or manager. Its main benefit is its clarity - it's scannable and makes the point the writer is trying to push forward.
3. The one that certifies work experience
The purpose of this recommendation letter is simple. It serves as a work certificate and will help the candidate prove their previous employment. It can also be a valuable addition to the candidate's work archive.
4. The one that states earnings and salary expectations
Normally, earnings and salary expectations are confidential and should be treated as such. You should never state the earnings and salary expectations in an employee experience letter. What you could do instead to help your employee is to note the benefits and average budget your company has for this position. This will also help the future manager or recruiter understand the type of job offer the candidate is after.
5. The one that certifies the employer
This employee experience differs from the one that certifies work experience in one key component: It proves that the candidate was truthful regarding the organization they were previously employed in.
6. For SaaS businesses
Since the SaaS sector is as extensive as it is nowadays, this employee experience letter should state the candidate's position and how they helped the organization reach its goals. In an era where SaaS brands favor remote work, a remote position like a virtual assistant for a SaaS company is not unheard of. Organizations should be willing to provide proof of previous employment, especially in such cases.
7. For educators
This employee experience letter is slightly different from the previous ones. Being an educator is somewhat different from being employed in any organization. Here, previous employers should state how their ex-employee connected with the class, the educational goals and purposes, and the projects they took up. Also, it would make sense to refer to any initiatives they took and how they solved problems in an educational manner.
8. For commerce
Commerce is a complicated business that requires forward thinking and vision. When creating an employee experience letter for this niche, outline your former employee's notable achievements and how their strategic thinking helped you in various projects.
9. For advertising firms
Advertising firms are highly competitive environments requiring outside-the-box thinking and excellent knowledge of tools and platforms like Google analytics tools. Advertising firms combine the skills needed for customer service and marketing. Present how your former employee demonstrated those skills and the tools they used to get there.
10. For sales
Good salespeople who can nurture leads and guide them further down the sales funnel are hard to come about. This employee experience letter should pinpoint the sales goals your former employee managed to reach and some notable achievements. This will help both the candidate to validate their value and the potential employer understand it.
11. For law firms
In this case, things need to be very serious and professional. Use notable mentions of cases your ex-coworker handled, the result they brought, and how resilient and knowledgeable they were.
12. For customer support
The core element of a customer support agent is patience and willingness to help and find solutions, no matter how complex or simple a problem might be. Pinpointing that and using customer feedback in your employee experience letter would work in the candidate's favor.
13. For marketing
Creativity, resourcefulness, and a willingness to follow trends and incorporate them into concepts are skills every marketer should have. Remember to mention those in this letter of recommendation.
The tourism industry is a hard but rewarding one. A professional in that niche should understand customer wants and needs and be willing to go above and beyond. They also should know the location and be able to recommend activities to guests. Make sure to refer to those skills and how the former employee boosted your revenue and left a lasting impression on the guests.
14. For publishers
Having an eye for stories and creating memorable experiences through words and publications is something employees in the publishing niche should have. Make sure to pinpoint special projects and show how your ex-employee managed to bring revenue while having an eye for quality content.
Before sending your employee experience letter, check it and then recheck it. Using outdated data and making false claims will do you no favors. It will undoubtedly harm your former employee's reputation.
So, be mindful of the information you put out and your grammar. Font, style, and language play an integral role. Be as professional as possible and make sure the candidate is portrayed in the best way possible.