Although letters of recommendation or some form of reference checking are used by over 80% of organizations in the United States (Muchinsky, 1979), research investigating the validity of such techniques has not yielded promising results. In a study of references used in industry, Mosel and Goheen (1959) found that the validity of references was only .13. These results were supported by Browning (1968) who found the validity of references also to be .14 in predicting teaching success. Research has identified several potential reasons for this low validity. As with the employment interview, factors other than the relevant content of the letters are used to form impressions of the applicant. For example, Cowan and Kasen (1984) found that letters referring to applicants by their first name were perceived as being more positive than letters referring to applicants by a title such as, "Mr. Jones" and Knouse (1983) found that letters of recommendation containing specific examples were evaluated more positively than letters without examples. In an attempt to focus the attention of letter readers on the important content of the letter, Peres and Garcia (1962) developed a technique in which the traits contained in a letter of recommendation are highlighted and placed into one of five categories which were developed based on a content analysis of 625 letters of recommendation written for engineering applicants. These five categories and representative traits for each category are: Mental Agility: Adaptable, analytical, bright, intelligent, logical, resourceful Cooperation-Consideration: Altruistic, congenial, friendly, helpful, sincere Dependability-Reliability: Alert, critical, dependable, methodical, prompt Urbanity: Assured, chatty, cultured, forward, gregarious, sociable, talkative Vigor: Active, eager, energetic, enthusiastic, independent, industrious Unfortunately, Peres and Garcia (1962) did not attempt to validate this technique. Thus, it is the purpose of this study to investigate the reliability and validity of the technique using two separate samples.