Experience letters offer a history of work that explains the details behind the job and relevant projects done.
The advice in this article will be most relevant to audiences trying to make it into their next job. However, the following steps are also applicable to those trying to show off their work in a letter in a dynamic way.
Use These Tips to Help You Write a Better Experience Letter
So you’re here to find out how to show off work history in an experience letter that’s eye catching and results-oriented, right? Here are a few easy steps to writing an experience letter that gets you results.
Know Your Audience
The key to a good experience letter includes knowing who you need to address in the letter. Understanding your audience and what they may be looking for is a big step to impressing them, so keep your letter relevant to what the audience needs to hear.
Who are you Talking to?
Most of the time, experience letter writers approach the question of ‘who is my audience?’ as if they’re writing for any future employer. However, understanding how to focus a letter to a specific audience, including those in a specific field, specific department, or even a specific job will make your letter far more effective. Acknowledging your audience as clearly as possible at the beginning of the letter is the best way to ensure a closer reading of the content in your letter.
Focus on the Projects that Matter
There are tips and tricks to finding the best way to communicate your experience in a professional manner while keeping it interesting for your audience. Focusing on the most important details brings out the best information quickly and keeps your readers engaged.
Find Common Skills with the Language in the Job Positing
Put in the extra effort to detail projects that relate to the area of work of whoever reads the letter. It’s important to leave an impression that the work history detailed in the letter proves competency towards accomplishing tasks in a particular area of expertise.
Begin by describing relevant experiences with as many parallels to a future role as possible. If this is for a particular job, then look at the language used in the job posting to find what needs to be addressed in the experience letter.
Focus on Tone and Purpose
Experience letters should be clear and concise. A good way to figure out what sort of tone your audience is expecting in your letter is to identify the way they communicate in public as well as with you.
Are there any circulars or e-mails that give you an idea of your audience’s tone in writing? This is basically the attitude the audience follows when communicating. Following their style of communicating in your letter makes it more likely that they will take a closer look at the content in your letter.
Narrow in On the Details of Important Projects
One of the strongest points to focus on when approaching this step is detail. Outline the key skill areas that made a project’s development possible and how each of those skills were used in the project.
For example, as a mobile apps developer focused on backend work in Python, detail the work and time put into building an app’s platform and functionality. Explain what was accomplished and how to accomplish it.
Emphasize the Takeaways from Those Important Projects
Whatever the professional background may be, include examples of what impact the letter’s subject had in your department, company, and field. For example, if the subject is a programmer then include challenging problems or bugs that came up during sprint cycles and explanations behind any fixes made to them.
Do not forget to include the impact that the fixes had on the overall project’s success. It goes a long way to show how any work put into fixing specific problems contributed to a team’s overall progress and success during a project too. Teamwork and support are soft skills that are highly valued in IT and other technical fields, especially software engineering roles.
It is also not a bad step to take on the ladder to higher paying management roles if that is something the subject in the letter may be aiming toward.
Punch Up the Writing in Your Experience Letter
Short and Simple is Better Than Long and Boring
Keep the writing short and to the point when describing personal and work histories. Regardless of the details put into the value of the work history, it will always benefit experience letter writers to keep the details pertinent and to a minimum.
Just remember, readers get bored easily, including letter readers. The goal is to grab a reader’s attention fast and keep it for as long as possible.
Be a Better Editor, Learn to Cut
Learning to self-edit by making cuts to a draft is a powerful skill for a writer. This skill applies to experience letter writing too. Try to make it easy for a reader to pick out the best qualities in the letter quickly.
Readers don’t have a lot of patience, so providing a quick breakdown of the value of past work is a luxury your readers will not forget.
Lose Your Audience at Your Own Risk
By continuing to emphasize points or skills that have already been mentioned earlier in the letter will likely kill your chances of making the most of your letter’s space. There is also the added risk of becoming redundant and boring to your audience.
Most readers, including those reading experience letters, skim through the paragraphs instead of taking a closer look and understanding what’s really on the page. Do not take it personally, most readers do not have the time or patience to spare a closer reading.
People have lower attention spans these days and are less inclined to read, so make sure the letter’s message is clear. All the points, from the first point to the last point, should be clear and detailed while describing your work history. The first time a point is emphasized should likely be the last time it is emphasized in the letter.
Leave a Great Lasting Impression
A Strong Ending
End on a strong note in the experience letter. If details need to be revisited, then this is the place to repeat them. However, do not repeat anything verbatim.
The readers need to continue to learn about the strength of a work history in an experience letter, so add something original to any earlier mentioned details. This keeps the content moving forward while driving the reader’s attention back to important points and other components in the letter.
Put a Call to Action in the Last Paragraph
The last paragraph is usually a call to action about why the letter is important in the first place. Let the letter’s recipient know that they should take action, like hiring the subject in the letter.
More often than not, an experience letter will have a sentence to inform a reader that a candidate’s work history is a good fit for a role in the field or for a particular job. Circle back in this paragraph to emphasize the strongest points in the letter and why those pointers reveal a candidate to be qualified for a role in the field.
Be Sure to Add Pertinent Contact Information
Your audience needs a way to get a hold of you. It’s important to remember to add some contact information, so your audiences have the best means of reaching you for follow up questions.
Openness and honesty go a long way in establishing good faith between two parties. This is no exception while shopping around for a new job with an experience letter in hand.
Adding in a best way to reach the writer in the last paragraph of the experience letter provides a sense of accountability and trust in your content. This puts audiences reading the letter at ease about the veracity of the information because they now have a way of going straight to the source.