All volunteers, interns, Arkitrek Camp participants, or arkitrekkers to give them their collective term, are entitled to an employer reference at the end of their stint with Arkitrek. The following is a guideline for supervisors/facilitators to write an employer reference. Also available in PDF
The employers’ reference should include the following sections:
1. Introduction to Arkitrek and the project (if applicable)
2. Description of roles, responsibilities & duration of work of the arkitrekker
3. Positive assessment of the arkitrekkers’ knowledge, skills, abilities, personality
4. Summary and commendation
In writing a positive assessment of the arkitrekkers’ knowledge, skills, abilities, personality you could consider, but not be limited to, the following headings:
• Interpersonal communication – with clients, community, arkitrek staff, builders etc
• Adaptability / openness
• Understanding responsibilities
• Planning / decision making
• Graphic communication
• Design skills – accurate, creative & elegant interpretation of client needs
• Technical skills – problem solving
• Management / organisational skills – of people and/or logistics
• Practical skills
You don’t have to write about all of these headings and might only highlight those areas where the arkitrekker is strong. This is an employers’ reference and so should be all positive. You can only be critical by omission (in which case the trick for an employer reading the reference is to read between the lines what’s not said!). Make every word count.
The summary and commendation can also tell a lot by what is and is not said. Be precise about who the arkitrekker is commended to and to what position?
The reference needs to fit on one A4 page with an Arkitrek letter head, like the one below, and be signed off with your name and position. Finally, wish them all the best in their continuing education / career.