How to write a reference letter
The work experience is a must for most Canadian economic immigration programs. It needs to be classified as NOC Skill Level 0, A, or B. So how can it be proved?
First, you need to find the National Occupation Classification (NOC) codes that match your past positions. After that, you need to provide a letter of reference for each position as proof.
What is a Reference Letter?
To be clear, a letter of reference for Canadian immigration is different from the kind of reference letter you might use when you’re applying for a job. Instead of recommending you as an employer, your letter of reference needs to verify that you worked for an employer for the amount of time you claimed to and that your position matches the NOC code you’ve chosen.
The letters of reference provide let the visa officer reviewing your application with a view of how much work experience you have in addition to determining your skill level. Work experience is such an important factor for most economic immigration programs, so your application is highly influenced by the quality of your letter of reference. The officer has the right to assess the validity of your work experience, and if your letter of reference is not adequate, your application is refused.
What Should a Reference Letter Include?
Typically, the more information you provide the better. Documents included in your file can help with the success of your file. Ideally, each letter of reference should:
Be written on company letterhead
Be signed by the responsible officer/supervisor
Include the officer/supervisor’s name and job title printed beneath the signature
Include the company’s contact information
Have the business card of the person signing it attached if available
If your letter of reference doesn’t have one of the above mentioned, the officer might consider it ingenuine and thus stop proceeding with the application.
There are some things that an ideal letter of reference should have:
* Your official job title
* The dates of your employment
* Your salary per week
* Your average hours per week
*A detailed list of your employment duties
make sure you include the detailed list of your employment duties which has to include your daily tasks and responsibilities and should make up most of the content of the letter.
Make sure you avoid industry-specific abbreviations or terms to avoid misconceptions with the visa officer since he is not familiar with your field. The list of employment duties is how the visa officer confirms that you’ve chosen an appropriate NOC code that’s why to make sure you write them clearly. Every NOC code has an associated lead statement and list of duties. It doesn’t matter if your official job title doesn’t match up with a job title associated with your NOC code, as long as your employment duties match the lead statement and duties.
What if I Can’t Get a Reference Letter?
The ideal way to prove your work experience is the letter of reference. But if for any reason, you’re not able to get a letter of reference, then you can try to persuade the visa officer with other extra documentation. Some examples include:
*Pictures of you at work
*Sworn declarations from colleagues
You should include a signed letter of explanation telling why you can’t provide a letter of reference. Keep in mind that it is the visa officer who decides about your letter of reference. Make sure you attach a thorough record of your employment to convince the visa officer that your work experience is genuine. In general, the more information you include, the more credible it will be to the visa officer, and the better your chances of being accepted.
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