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Old 03.10.2013, 11:00
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Work certificate

Hey All,

I have just received my work certificate.

I have been working for three years in the company and left for a master program. Could you please help me to "un-code" the below sentences. I have a feeling that it is not that good and before going back to HR I need help to know what theses sentence exactly mean.

1.He handled his tasks in a professional manner and had good relationships with his colleagues.

2.He fulfilled his duties to our satisfaction and leaves us, of his own accord, free from all obligations.

3.We wish him every success in his future career.


Thank you very much.
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Old 03.10.2013, 11:37
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Re: Work certificate

I have attached a document from AXA Legal Insurance that decodes what is written on your reference to what the employer really means. Sorry but it's only in French, but if you Google or trawl through the AXA site, you should find other language versions.

I'll leave you to match your employers comments with those in the AXA document.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Checkliste_Arb_Zeugnis_fr.pdf (160.3 KB, 2077 views)
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  #3  
Old 03.10.2013, 11:56
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Re: Work certificate

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I have a feeling that it is not that good and before going back to HR I need help to know what theses sentence exactly mean.

Going by the check list posted by ch2013, your reference letter is the worst anyone could get

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1.He handled his tasks in a professional manner and had good relationships with his colleagues.
This sentence seems to say professional without any stress adverbs, so doesn't really scream out good.

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2.He fulfilled his duties to our satisfaction and leaves us, of his own accord, free from all obligations.
Again no stress words before satisfaction are not there which doesn't really give a good impression.

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3.We wish him every success in his future career.
Thank you very much.
This is apparently a coded ironic insert that would indicate that you weren't very successful in the company.
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Old 03.10.2013, 21:13
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Re: Work certificate

Of course that all pre supposed that the person writing the reference actually knew the code in the first place and the person reading the reference reading the reference also knows the code - and of course it is the same code....
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Old 04.10.2013, 09:17
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Re: Work certificate

They do.
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Old 04.10.2013, 09:30
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Re: Work certificate

Thank you very much for the help.

I am very disappointed as I received different feedback in my yearly review. Happily I printed everything out.

Before getting back to HR may I as if somebody could confirm the interpretation of The_Love_Doctor?
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Old 04.10.2013, 10:30
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Re: Work certificate

Hang on a minute, having read several of these threads on references over the past few months, the consensus of EF opinion seems to be that these "coded" sentences are now illegal.

Surely the OP could just go back to his employer and request a re-write based on it being "illegal"?
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Old 04.10.2013, 17:10
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Re: Work certificate

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Thank you very much for the help.

I am very disappointed as I received different feedback in my yearly review. Happily I printed everything out.

Before getting back to HR may I as if somebody could confirm the interpretation of The_Love_Doctor?
The reference is very poor indeed.
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Old 04.10.2013, 17:34
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Re: Work certificate

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Hang on a minute, having read several of these threads on references over the past few months, the consensus of EF opinion seems to be that these "coded" sentences are now illegal.

Surely the OP could just go back to his employer and request a re-write based on it being "illegal"?
I think what is written is perfectly legal. The problem here is that there is nothing that screams out "This guy has done a bloody great job around here, we're very sad to see him go, but we're sure he won't have a problem finding another job and we are certain he will do a great job wherever he will be employed next!".
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Old 04.10.2013, 17:50
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Re: Work certificate

Its a perfectly legal average reference
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Old 04.10.2013, 18:24
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Re: Work certificate

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Its a perfectly legal average reference
I would say it's below average...
I would rather say I have no reference than give that!
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Old 04.10.2013, 19:08
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Re: Work certificate

I really think that you should not bother the HR for this.

This certificate is very well writen. Of course, you could argue for your understanding. But it is quite popular to write that they wish your success in the future. It does not imply anything officially. I dont think it's a good idea to argue for this point.

For the stress adverb, I actually think the opposite. I mean the certificate is not a motivation letter, it should not bring any emotion or subjective sentence. It should be as objective and practical as possible, for me.

Once, I had a certificate that they write, 'his performance during this work period has been highly satisfactory'. I actully think it is too bad. Since it is too subjective and it does not mean anything by saying highly satisfactory. I would prefer that they say something like, 'accuracy, punctuality, persistence, team player,' etc.

I am young though. So it is just my personal feeling.

If the certificate is too subjective and emotional, I doubt its creditablity and whether it is really convincing.
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Old 04.10.2013, 20:36
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Re: Work certificate

to the OP: is it an english translation you give us (= original in french since you are in Vaud)? If so, I'd recommand to ask our advice on the original version (french is my mother tongue, I could help).

TBH, at first sight, it isn't very laudatory, but I can't have an opinion only 3 sentences, may be the rest is much better, gives another nuance ?

There is also a direct connexion to the job/position. You tell us that you leave to study a Master course: was that your first job ever, just after you finished your BA/BSc ?
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Old 04.10.2013, 21:00
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Re: Work certificate

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I would say it's below average...
I would rather say I have no reference than give that!
The RAV will not accept such a bad certificate , they will insist a far better one is written as it will be impossible to find a job with a Swiss company in Switzerland based on what is written .
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Old 16.02.2015, 10:57
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work Certificate - your evaluation required

Dear Experts,

I kindly ask you to evaluate the actual meaning of the job certificate issued by my company at my leave :

we are pleased to confirm that Mr xxxx was employed by our company as XXX from X1 to X2.
We thank MR xxx for his support and wish him all success in his future endeavours.


Does it look good?
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Old 16.02.2015, 11:10
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Re: work Certificate - your evaluation required

Looks like a standard British reference.
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Old 16.02.2015, 11:43
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Re: work Certificate - your evaluation required

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Dear Experts,

I kindly ask you to evaluate the actual meaning of the job certificate issued by my company at my leave :

we are pleased to confirm that Mr xxxx was employed by our company as XXX from X1 to X2.
We thank MR xxx for his support and wish him all success in his future endeavours.


Does it look good?

In CH terms it's worse than crap.
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Old 16.02.2015, 12:07
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Re: work Certificate - your evaluation required

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In CH terms it's worse than crap.

Thanks a lot!

How should the good work certificate look like? just give me some phrases, examples
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Old 16.02.2015, 12:11
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Re: work Certificate - your evaluation required

Have you tried searching? I believe there is a thread which covers this topic in depth.
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Old 16.02.2015, 12:13
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Re: work Certificate - your evaluation required

I think "working to the best of his ability" means he's not capable of anything more so it's a good job it doesn't say that.
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