How To Write An Experience Letter (With Format + Examples)

By Kristin Kizer - Sep. 21, 2021

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If you’re getting ready to explore a new career, you need to do more than set your sights on your dream job. To snag that job and successfully transition from one career to the next, you need to prepare.

One important part of that preparation is getting an experience letter from your soon-to-be-former or former employer. We’ll go over what experience letters are used for, how to write one, and an example experience letter to pull all our advice together.

What Is an Experience Letter?

An experience letter is a document written by someone who supervises you at your current or previous job. The letter explains how long you were with the company and what experiences you gained while there. A well-written experience letter confirms the details of your job application and resume.

Don’t be worried if you’ve never heard of an experience letter — they’re not very common in the modern world. They’re sometimes called a company experience letter or a letter of experience, but they’re the same thing no matter what name they go by.

The Benefits of a Letter of Experience

The reason an experience letter can help you stand out is that it’s not common, and it can accomplish the following things:

  • Proof of your affiliation with your previous or current employer

  • Support your resume’s claims about dates employed and duties

  • Detail what you did and your mastery of those tasks

  • Verify your skill set, especially hard skills

  • Build a networking bond between you and your superior

  • Remind your company of your value and importance

You see, if you’re thinking about leaving your job or you want a promotion, asking for an experience letter can give you a leg up. Not only will you have something to show to prospective new employers, but your current company now has a heads up that you’re thinking about moving on.

They are also forced to look at your importance, which might make them realize they’d rather keep you than try to find someone else to fill your shoes.

How to Write a Work Experience Letter

If you’re an employer, manager, or supervisor, an employee or former employee may request a work experience letter. Because they aren’t standard, this could be the first time you’re encountering one, and you might not know what to write or even how to write an experience letter.

Don’t worry; we’ve included samples at the bottom for you to reference.

Before looking at those, here are some important things to consider before you agree to write an experience letter:

  • Do you know enough about what the employee does or did at the company to detail the experience they’ve gained while working there?

  • Can you give specific examples of the scope of the job and the employee’s involvement?

  • Is your letter going to be positive?

  • Are you the appropriate person to ask; are you a manager or supervisor, or just a work buddy?

If you can answer yes to the above questions, then you’re the right person for the job. If you think you’re not the right person to ask, let the individual know as soon as possible. Maybe you can suggest who they should actually be asking.

How to Write a Company Work Experience Letter

If you’re writing the letter, this information is going to help you narrow your focus and come up with a positive letter for the employee.

If you are the employee, look through this section carefully and compare it to your letter to make sure that nothing was missed.

An even better tip for employees: You can create a rough outline of the specific skills you’d like to see highlighted. This will help you target your future job and will make it easier for your boss to write your letter of experience.

  • Be professional. The most important thing in an experience letter is that you are professional through and through. This goes in someone else’s work portfolio, and your authority as a work supervisor is crucial.

  • Use business letter formatting. Make sure you’re formatting the letter for business. That means you’ll use work letterhead, include a date, the company name, your name, title, a salutation, the body of the letter, and close with a signature.

  • The body. It’s the body of the letter that can be the most difficult part to write. The rest is just filling in information. Use this as a guideline:

    • Employee name

    • Employee’s date of hire

    • Employee’s title — If there were title changes, include them as well as the dates the changes went into effect.

    • Describe the different positions the employee held and the duties they performed. If there was an area where they excelled, explain that in detail.

    • Describe the employee, their attitude, personality, willingness to learn, leadership qualities, etc. Just remember to focus on the good parts.

    • Finally, write a positive statement about the employee’s potential future.

    • Note that some sources recommend listing the employee’s salary. We suggest staying away from this topic as it is private information and unrelated to job performance.

      If you really want to say something in this regard, you can mention that they hit quotas or earned bonuses or something along those lines without mentioning a dollar amount.

Experience Letter Template

[Date Written]

To Whom It May Concern:

The purpose of this letter is to certify that [employee’s full name] worked as a [job title] in the [department name] of [company name] from [start date] to [end date].

[Employee’s first name] has [skills, early experiences, major accomplishments]

[More details of the employee’s key responsibilities and contributions]

[Details of the employee’s promotions, as well as soft skills that make them pleasant to work with]

We are sure that whatever they chose to do next, they will do it with the same amount of passion and drive that they showed in their many years with our company.

We certainly wish [employee first name] all the best in his future, and I would be happy to speak with you personally if you have any questions about their employment with [company name].

Sincerely,

[Your name]
[Your job title]
[Your contact details]

Example Experience Letter

Let’s dive a little deeper into that formal letter format. We touched on it above and gave you some great ideas for how to create the body. But there’s nothing quite as useful as an example. So here we go.

December 1, 2021

The Cat Project
Norman Fester, Chief Executive Officer
1234 Mercer Lane
Madison, AL 35756

To Whom It May Concern:

The purpose of this letter is to certify that Milo Parker has been working in the packaging department of our company since 2007.

Milo has shown tremendous drive and dedication to his position. He began working with us on a part-time basis and helped out when it was our busy season. In 2009 he decided to pursue a career with us on a full-time basis and worked as one of our stockers, making sure shelves were properly stocked and that orders were packaged appropriately.

In 2010, Milo was promoted to Chief Stocker, and, in addition to his regular stocking duties, he oversaw the other stockers in the department. He has great leadership skills and was an immediate hit with his teammates and his superiors.

In 2012 we encouraged Milo to take some managerial classes at the local technical college, at our expense. By the time he had finished a handful of these courses in 2014, we had promoted him to Quality Control Officer. This promotion removed his stocking responsibilities and put him in charge of overseeing the fulfillment area of our growing online sales business.

In 2017, Milo expressed an interest in becoming the Supervisor of the Packaging Division. As our company has grown significantly since Milo began, and he knew the packaging department better than most, he was already our top candidate for this position. We were happy that he wanted to assume the role, and this is the role he currently holds at The Cat Project.

Milo has incredible organizational skills and is a thoughtful and compassionate team leader. He is always willing to go the extra mile and has big plans for his future. We are sure that whatever he chose to do next, he will do it with the same amount of passion and drive that he has shown in his many years with our company.

We certainly wish Milo all the best in his future, and I would be happy to speak with you personally if you have any questions about his employment with The Cat Project.

Sincerely,

Norman Fester, CEO of The Cat Project
NFester@CatProject.com
(123) 987-6543

Experience Letter FAQ

  • How do I start an experience letter? To start an experience letter, write a sentence like “the purpose of this letter is to certify [employee name]’s time working for XYZ Corp.” Or, “this letter serves to certify that [employee name] worked at XYZ Corp. from [start date] to [end date].”

    Don’t worry about sounding impressive. The opening line of an experience letter is simply a statement of the immediate facts: who, what, and when should all be answered at the start of an experience letter.

  • Can I ask for an experience letter? Yes, you can ask for an experience letter from your current or former employer. However, if you ask your current employer for an experience letter, they may suspect that you’re applying for other jobs.

    Asking for an experience letter from a former employer is much simpler and more effective. You’ll be able to tell the writer exactly what job opportunities the experience letter is for, so they’ll be able to write a more tailored and effective piece for you.

  • Is salary mentioned in an experience letter? No, salary is not typically mentioned in an experience letter. If you’re submitting an experience letter from a company, it’s likely that you’re also putting them down as a reference.

    If a hiring manager is interested in confirming your past salary, they’ll have the opportunity to ask during a reference check.

  • Why do you need a work experience letter? You don’t need a work experience letter, but having one helps verify your past accomplishments and professional contributions. If you’re applying for a job in a faraway city or even another country, an experience letter helps to vouch for your skill set.

Final Thoughts

Not all letters of experience will be this thorough, and some will be much longer. It all depends on the level of experience, the detail needed to explain the position, and the person writing the letter, and the employee.

For people asking for a letter of experience, don’t be surprised if your boss hasn’t written one before. They’re not very common but handing them an outline of your experience or a timeline of your employment can help them a lot. Keep your letter with your professional information and pull it out when necessary.

It doesn’t need to go out with every resume or cover letter, but it’s good to have when you need it.

For employers, a letter of experience lets potential employers know why you value this employee. It might make you realize that you’re about to lose a great hire, which is a good time to take stock and decide if you need to do something to keep them.

But if your company doesn’t fit with their future goals or plans, then writing a letter and wishing them well is a great way to show that you appreciate their years of service.

Both parties need to remember that this is a professional document. It’s not a place for emotions, good or bad. It’s just business. Keep the request professional, and the resulting letter should also reflect a level of business-minded acumen.

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Author

Kristin Kizer

Kristin Kizer is an award-winning writer, television and documentary producer, and content specialist who has worked on a wide variety of written, broadcast, and electronic publications. A former writer/producer for The Discovery Channel, she is now a freelance writer and delighted to be sharing her talents and time with the wonderful Zippia audience.

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