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  • 1.  Reference Letter Request

    Posted 03-09-2020 07:50 AM

    I am currently applying for civil engineering opportunities and have seen that most jobs request either a mandatory or an optional reference letter.

    Accordingly, I am requesting reference letters but was asked to give headnotes wanted and my question is; 

    What are the headnotes that I need to have in any reference letter for an engineer that a firm might be interested in finding? 

    Thanks for your time, 


    Hala Abdo A.M.ASCE
    Centreville VA

  • 2.  RE: Reference Letter Request

    Posted 04-11-2020 10:32 AM
    Dear Hala, I had never been asked for "headnotes." I assume that the future employer wants to know about the main points related to your capabilities in dimensions as social, work in teams, technical, argumentative, and so on. I prepare recommendation letters for my alumni according to their involvement in research projects, their behavior in my classes and mainly, their attitude.

    Andres Guzman Ing., M.ASCE
    Associate Professor

  • 3.  RE: Reference Letter Request

    Posted 04-13-2020 03:55 PM
    Head notes are as follows:

    To whom the letter is to be written
    What is the company name
    What is their address
    What job you are applying for
    What is the job number you are applying for.

    The letter is then sent directly to the company requesting the references, and you only see it if the referee chooses to send a copy to you.

    Generic references are irrelevant because they cannot be specific for a specific job, and address the items that the job should request.  Most companies do not require a generic letter as no one will present an open letter that is critical of themselves.   Most companies will call the people you list as references.  If the references you provide do no refer to your current position, that is generally accepted, but they need to refer to your previous positions so that the people you want to hire you can get a third party opinion of your work ethic and employability.

    Dwayne Culp, Ph.D., Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE
    Culp Engineering, LLC
    Rosenberg TX