First published on this website in October 2013 and last updated in September 2019
These notes give advice if you have been asked to act as a referee for a friend's application for a job on the staff of a church or mission agency. They also apply for Minister references. There are six sections.
- Find out all you can about the post. Study job description and person profile, check out the website, check how your reference will be used.
- Consider what your role should be. Put yourself if the shoes of the assessors for the post and think carefully what they want to know.
- Submit your reference in the correct format. They may provide a form, or they may want a letter. Check any specifics they want you to cover and stick to the deadline they give you.
- Assess the candidate against the requirements of the post. List their strengths against what the post requires. But list, too, their weaknesses if your reference is to be credible.
- Avoid sweeping statements. Statements such as "His preaching is superb" can mean many different things. Your role is to be an objective assessor, not the leader of the fan club.
- Write nothing you would not want the candidate to see. Even if confidential, the candidate may later be able to read what you write. There are specific duties if writing an employer's reference.
Here is the link to this item: TN76 - How to prepare a job reference.pdf
These notes were updated in September 2019 with minor adjustments to the text and updated web references.