Why is it so satisfying to leave work early?

Job reference: modules, grades and codes

Employment references often hide messages that employees do not see directly - but HR specialists do. We provide you with a detailed breakdown so that you can recognize all the codes and grades on your job reference.


A job reference is divided into the following modules:

  • Heading: Certificate, job reference, interim reference, internship reference or training certificate
  • Personnel & position in the company: This module includes all necessary data about the employee (first name and family name, title, date of birth, place of residence and address, duration of employment, place of work and the last function performed).
  • Function / tasks:The tasks, competencies and responsibilities as well as any promotions during the period of employment appear here.
  • Expertise: Presentation of the specialist knowledge brought along and acquired through further training during the period of employment.
  • Qualifications: (Performance and behavior) This module is central to the job reference and must therefore be very detailed, clear and unambiguous. Here the performance and behavior of the employee are extensively recognized (motivation, commitment, resilience, identification with the company, leadership quality, creativity, behavior towards employees, superiors and customers, quality of work, etc.).
  • Reason for leaving: The employee has the right to have the reason for leaving mentioned in the certificate.
  • Final sentence: We would like to thank the employee for the good cooperation and wish him every success in his professional future.
  • Place and date as well as signature: Name of the certificate issuer written on a PC, reference to the legal status of the issuer when representing the employer.


Very good

  • Always to the fullest satisfaction *- In plain language: very good performance
  • Always in every way - In plain language: very good performance
  • Complete satisfaction - Plain text: slight devaluation from the maximum performance



  • Always very satisfied - In plain language: considerable devaluation of the maximum performance
  • Always complete satisfaction - In plain language: good performance
  • Always very satisfied- In plain language: good performance



  • Complete satisfaction- In plain language: satisfactory performance
  • We were always satisfied- In plain language: average performance
  • Always to the satisfaction- plain text:below average performance
  • Were satisfactory- In plain language: below-average performance



  • To (our) satisfaction- plain text:sufficient performance
  • Were satisfied- plain text:sufficient performance



  • Overall, satisfied- plain text:very poor performance
  • Tried ... to do to our satisfaction- In plain language: significant deficiencies
  • Always tried hard- plain text:serious defects



  • Always tried hard / tried hard- In plain language: absolutely inadequate performance
  • Met our expectations- plain text:completely inadequate performance


*Always to the fullest satisfaction ... describes the grade "very good" in the certificate language. However, one should never look at this formula in isolation, because a good report card is made up of many building blocks. If other building blocks do not work properly, a perfect satisfaction formula is of little use.

There are certificate issuers who forego "full satisfaction" and leave it at "full satisfaction" because the word "fullest" is incorrect German. This inaccuracy, however, has firmly established itself in the German language of the testimony. Certificates that speak of “complete satisfaction” reflect the general opinion of the grade “good” and not “very good”. Other, equivalent formulations read, for example: "We were always extremely satisfied with his performance.", "The performance has found our full recognition at all times and in every respect.", "In summary, the performance is assessed as very good."



  • Very good: He has extensive specialist knowledge, also in peripheral areas.
  • Well: He has extensive specialist knowledge.
  • Satisfying: He has solid specialist knowledge.
  • Sufficient: He has a solid basic knowledge in his field of work.
  • Inadequate: He has developable knowledge of his field of work.
  • Insufficient: He had the opportunity to acquire the necessary knowledge in his field of work.


Comprehension and problem-solving skills

  • Very good: He is able to grasp even difficult situations immediately and accurately and to find the right solutions quickly.
  • Well: He has an overview of difficult interrelationships, recognizes the essentials and is able to quickly find solutions.
  • Satisfying: He can find his way in new situations and is also able to grasp complex relationships.
  • Sufficient: With the support of his superiors, he has grown into new situations and is able to understand complex relationships.
  • Inadequate: With the support of his superiors, he has essentially grown in new situations.
  • Insufficient: He tried to cope with new situations with the support of his superiors.


Willingness to perform and initiative

  • Very good: He always showed initiative and impressed with his great willingness to perform.
  • Well: He took the initiative on his own initiative and stood up for our company with above-average commitment.
  • Satisfying: He showed commitment and initiative.
  • Sufficient: He met the required readiness for action.
  • Inadequate: He essentially met the required readiness for action.
  • Insufficient: He has tried to meet the required readiness for action.



  • Very good: It can cope with even the heaviest workload at any time.
  • Well: He is also able to cope with heavy workloads at any time.
  • Satisfying: He can cope with a heavy workload.
  • Sufficient: He is up to the usual workload.
  • Inadequate: He is essentially up to the usual workload.
  • Insufficient: He tries hard to cope with the usual workload


Thinking and judgment

  • Very good: Particularly noteworthy is his judgment, which enables him to make an independent, balanced and accurate judgment even in difficult situations.
  • Well: His ability to make judgments is shaped by his clear and logical line of thought, which enables him to make reliable judgments.
  • Satisfying: His consistent way of thinking marks his confident judgment in familiar contexts.
  • Sufficient: His consistent way of thinking marks his confident judgment in familiar contexts.
  • Inadequate: In a familiar context, he can essentially rely on his ability to make judgments.
  • Insufficient: His ability to make judgments is shaped by erratic, sometimes contradicting thoughts without realizing what is important.



  • Very good: He always worked very reliably and precisely.
  • Well: He always worked reliably and conscientiously.
  • Satisfying: He worked reliably and conscientiously.
  • Sufficient: He reliably coped with the crucial tasks.
  • Inadequate: He usually worked reliably
  • Insufficient: He tries to work reliably.



  • Very good: He masters his work area independently and confidently, often has new ideas and finds optimal solutions.
  • Well: He manages his work area independently and confidently, finds good solutions and has new ideas.
  • Satisfying: He manages his work area confidently and finds useful solutions.
  • Sufficient: He copes with his area of ​​responsibility.
  • Inadequate: He essentially copes with the tasks arising in his area of ​​responsibility.
  • Insufficient: He is eager to cope with his field of work.


Leadership ability

  • Very good: He has a natural authority, enjoys the trust of his employees and is recognized and valued by them. He knows how to assess his employees reliably and how to lead them to very good performances.
  • Well: He is recognized and valued by his employees and is able to deploy the employees according to their abilities and to achieve good performance with them.
  • Satisfying: He is respected by his employees and has the ability to guide employees and responsibly lead them to the desired performance.
  • Sufficient: He is able to guide his employees and lead them responsibly.
  • Inadequate: He is able to essentially achieve the goals set for his department with the employees he leads.
  • Insufficient: He endeavors to analyze and solve the problems that arise in his presentation on the basis of the management style practiced in our company.


Judgment on personal leadership

  • Very good: The personal behavior was always exemplary. He is very much appreciated by superiors, colleagues and business partners.
  • Well: Personal behavior was always impeccable. He is valued by superiors, colleagues and employees.
  • Satisfying: Personal behavior towards superiors, colleagues and customers was impeccable.
  • Sufficient: Personal behavior towards superiors and colleagues was polite and correct. His leadership gave us no cause for complaint.
  • Inadequate: The personal behavior was essentially impeccable. Personal behavior towards colleagues and business partners was impeccable (can indicate deficiencies in behavior towards superiors). Personal behavior towards superiors and business partners was impeccable (can indicate problems with colleagues).
  • Insufficient: Personal behavior was not free from complaints. It was difficult for him to fit into the operational order. Personal behavior was not free from complaints. Problems arose in dealing with superiors. Personal behavior was not free from complaints. When dealing with colleagues, problems arose in cooperation.

K.o. formulation in the job reference

Work performance

No Comments
Plain text: It must be assumed that the services were not sufficient!

"... did all the work with great diligence and interest." Or "... tried to do his job as well as possible ..." 
Plain text: Achievements did not satisfy, although he tried!

"He carried out the tasks assigned to him with great diligence."
In plain language: tried to get the job done right, but wasn't efficient!

"... has always tried to do the work assigned to him to our satisfaction."
In plain language: skills are minimal, but he is willing!

"We appreciated his great zeal."
Plain text: was a nerd, but without meeting the requirements!

"We are happy to certify that he has devoted himself to the tasks assigned to him with zeal."
Plain text: Zeal yes, success no!

"... worked diligently on all of the tasks assigned to him."
Plain text: Hard work yes, success no!

"He dedicated himself to all tasks with enthusiasm."
Plain text: Enthusiasm yes, success no!

"The tasks appropriate to him ..."
Plain text: The undemanding tasks ....!

"... worked with the greatest accuracy."
Plain text: pea-counting, slow and inflexible pedant!

"We are happy to confirm that he approached his tasks with diligence, honesty and punctuality."
Plain text: He lacked the professional qualifications!

"... has done all the assigned work properly." Or "He has done the tasks that we assigned him to our satisfaction."
Plain text: No initiative - he really only did the tasks that were explicitly assigned to him; otherwise he remained passive, so was at best average!

"... we would like to emphasize his ability to delegate the tasks with complete success."
Plain text: avoided work wherever he could!

"... was committed within the scope of his abilities."
Plain text: very poor performance!

"... has essentially met our expectations."
Plain text: Services were simply poor!

"... has tried to meet the requirements."
Plain text: has failed!

"... showed understanding for the work."
Plain text: not a good job or even lazy!

"... the services offered were always in the range of his abilities."
Plain text: Skills were very poor, which is why it did not bring the company anything!

"... was able to cope with the stress."
Plain text: was not particularly good, at best sufficiently resilient.

"... has always tried to make good suggestions."
Plain text: knew everything better, but without the business benefiting from it!

"... has specialist knowledge and shows healthy self-confidence."
Plain text: big mouth, but nothing behind it!



No Comments
Plain text: It is likely that the behavior was unsatisfactory!

"... was capable and knew how to sell well."
Plain text: unpleasant employee!

"... the cooperation went smoothly."
Plain text: but not very pleasant either!

"His behavior towards colleagues and superiors was always exemplary."
Plain text: had problems with his superiors because they are only mentioned in the sentence after the colleagues.

"... always tried to maintain a good relationship with the superiors."
Plain text: was a conformist!

"He got on well with his superiors."
Plain text: is a follower who knows how to sell well!

"In dealing with colleagues and superiors, he consistently showed a refreshing openness."
Plain text: was always very cheeky!

"... was very capable and knew how to sell well."
Plain text: Busybody!

"He knew how to represent his views intensively."
Plain text: had an exaggerated self-confidence!

"... was characterized in particular by the fact that he made many suggestions for improvement to simplify or make work easier."
Plain text: Since the addition "which we have also adopted" is missing, this can mean that the suggestions were made for your own relief or in the interests of your own convenience.

"... was always a good role model because of his punctuality."
Plain text: By emphasizing the obvious punctuality it is expressed that the work performance and the work success were low.

"With his sincere and decent disposition, he was a pleasant employee towards superiors and employees."
Plain text: But not by his ability!

"... is a demanding and critical employee."
Plain text: is very selfish, insists on his rights towards others and likes to nag!

"... was very efficient and able to express his own opinion."
Plain text: has a high opinion of himself and cannot accept factual criticism based on this!

"... has shown great interest in our company."
Plain text: however did nothing!

"... achieved a not inconsiderable turnover."
Plain text: but not a significant one either!

"His extensive education always made him a sought-after conversation partner."
Plain text: Education or not - he was chatty and had long private conversations on duty!

"... contributed to the improvement of the working atmosphere through his sociability."
Plain text: looked for sex contacts with colleagues or gossiped and kept the others from working!

"He always showed (great) empathy for the concerns of the workforce."
Plain text: sought contact with the opposite sex!

"... solved all tasks in his own interest and in the interest of the company."
Plain text: committed theft and / or other serious inaccuracies!


Final formulations

No Comments
Plain text: It is likely that he had to go!

"...We wish him all the best, especially health. "
Plain text: Devaluation of the certificate through ironic formulations!

"... we thank you for his cooperation."
Plain text: no real loss!

"... leaves us by mutual agreement."
Plain text: We fired him - or at least: we're glad he left.

"... leaves us at his own request."
Plain text: It is a normal exit and the employee does not leave a large gap.

"We separated from him by mutual agreement." Or "The employment relationship ended through mutual separation on ... (departure date)."
Plain text: Separation means: on the initiative of the employer.

"We agreed with him to terminate the employment relationship."
Plain text: Difficulties arose!

"He terminated the employment relationship at his own request on ... (crooked exit date)." Or "He left us prematurely on ... (crooked exit date) in order to continue his career immediately in another company." Or "He left us. .. (crooked exit date) at my own request in order to be able to take up a new position immediately. "
Plain text: Termination formulas for termination due to breach of contract!

"He is leaving our service at his own request." Or "He is leaving our company at his own request." Or "He terminated the employment relationship on ... (leaving date)."
Plain text: Termination formulas for termination without a reason (at your own request)!

"He separates from us on ... (leaving date) of his own accord." Or "The employment relationship was terminated at his request on ... (leaving date)."
Plain text: Termination formulas for termination without justification (suggested)!