My Name is Lyle MacPherson. I am a Certified Management Accountant (C.M.A.) I am presently the Controller and Chief Financial Officer for a group of eight companies with gross annual sales in excess of $500 million.
My first experience with reference letters began when I applied for my first job over 35 years ago. That first job turned into a 23 year career, including 14 promotions. Great reference letters were one of the key contributors to that success, and they still are today. Having been in senior management positions for 30 years, I have also written countless reference letters to help other people get what they want!
I am presently in the position of Controller / CEO of a group of companies with annual sales in excess of $500 million.
Here’s the thing – As a hiring manager for most of my adult life as well as an employee climbing the corporate ladder all of my adult life, I know firsthand the value of a Great Reference Letter!
Here’s a fact – When I’m hiring someone, I place as much value on the applicants reference letter as I do in their resume. Trust me… a great reference letter does make a difference in swaying someone’s opinion!
Harsh but true – I have seen literally 100’s of reference letters. Due to poor quality, there were dozens that I never finished reading and a couple that hit the trash! That may sound cruel but I am a very busy man. My opinion is simply this… If someone expects me to take time to read their reference letter, they need to have taken some time to write a proper reference letter.
I recently needed to write a Court Character Reference Letter for a young man very close to me, who had gotten in trouble with the law. He admitted he had made a mistake and deep down I knew he is a good young man so I wanted to help him out at his trial. So, I decided to write a Character Reference Letter that would be presented to both lawyers and the judge handling the court case. This was one extremely important reference letter and it really had to be GREAT, to say the least! After accepting the task, I went to the Internet in search of some information to help me write my letter.
I spent literally hours and hours, exhaustively searching for ideas on how to write an effective reference letter. I was wanting to know what to include in the reference letter as well as what format the reference letter should be in. With all of the information products available on the internet today I thought that I would have been able to find all the answers to my questions in one place! Instead what I found was bits and pieces of information all over the place. I needed to get the reference letter written in less than a week and I felt that all I was doing was wasting my valuable time looking!
Fortunately my career has provided me with a great deal of experience both writing and using reference letters. Using this experience and adding a more personal touch, I was able to provide the young man with a “Great character Reference Letter”. Long story short, the young man avoided jail time, thanks in part to that letter. What a rewarding experience it was to see the joy and relief on my friends face AND the joy on his mother’s face when we were able to leave the courtroom together!
It was at that moment that I decided I would write an all inclusive, step-by-step resource guide, on how to write a great reference letter just by following a few simple guidelines. This book was a labor of love and I Personally Guarantee You that if you follow the few simple rules and guidelines I teach, you too will experience that wonderful feeling of helping someone you care about achieve their goals and dreams!
I have also written 4 Sample Reference Letters to provide you with the basic format of a Reference Letter and to stimulate you thoughts as to what you might write.
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