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It is an honor to be asked to be someone’s character reference. But even if you are enthused about helping a friend or colleague out, you might feel a little intimidated by the prospect of putting the proverbial pen to paper and authoring an official character reference letter.
If you have been asked to write a character reference letter, there’s no need to panic. In the following guide, you will:
When someone applies for a job or to get into a school, they might wish to submit a character reference letter with their application. This letter is written by a colleague or friend and demonstrates their quality of character.
A character reference letter should be different from a professional letter of recommendation. A professional letter of recommendation is usually written by a past manager or boss. A character reference letter is, instead, written by a personal contact. These letters are still professional in nature, but they do not require the author to have been in a managerial role.
The following is an example of what your character reference letter might look like. If you are sending the letter via mail, include the contact information at the top of the letter, as shown.
If you are sending the letter via email, you do not need to include this information. In an email, your letter will begin with your greeting and should include a subject line; contact info would appear under your name at the end.
4545 Absolute Way
Springfield, MI 49037
July 1, 2022
Director, Client Relations
63 Lady Bird Lane
Austin, TX 78701
Dear Mr. Stanford,
I have had the pleasure of knowing Kindra Langfield for the past 12 years. During these 12 years, Kindra has been a volunteer at my cat rescue, where she has helped me care for countless animals. Additionally, Kindra has become a significant figure in our local community, where she helps lead a literacy program with underserved populations.
Kindra is compassionate, intelligent, and well-spoken. She frequently brings new ideas to the table at the shelter, helping us increase our reach in the community. Not only that, but Kindra is extremely reliable and always follows through on tasks she is given.
Additionally, Kindra has the ability to connect with others on a meaningful level. This has allowed her to forge deep relationships in our community and has been a huge asset to our team when raising funds for our shelter. When Kindra commits to doing something, she does so with her all.
In conclusion, I give my highest recommendation of Kindra for any position she wishes to pursue. She will be an invaluable asset to your organization and will bring a rich set of skills to the position.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me at any time.
Writing a character reference letter is a great opportunity to help someone you know land a job or get accepted into a school. Use the following writing tips to assist your friend or colleague in the best way possible.
Before you write your letter, ask the person who has requested the letter for a few details. Questions to ask include the following:
A character reference letter should be professional, but it should also be heartfelt. Unlike a professional letter of recommendation, which focuses on the professional accomplishments of an applicant, a character reference is a reflection of how a person stands out on a more personal level.
Include ways in which you have seen the quality and unique character of the person demonstrated. The goal is to paint the person in a wholly positive light.
While you do want to include enough information to showcase the personality and character of the person you are writing about, you don’t want to get carried away with the letter. Stick to three to four short paragraphs that hold valuable information.
If you feel like your letter is too long, go back through and remove redundancies or cut down on the length of stories. No matter what, never send a letter that is more than a page long.
Even if you are a professional writer, odds are good that your first draft will contain a few mistakes. Take the time to double-check your letter before sending it. When you are doing your final check, be sure your letter contains:
It can also be helpful to use Grammarly or another online tool to check your letter for spelling or grammatical errors. Additionally, you can ask a friend or family member to review the letter to ensure that the body of the letter makes sense and is easy to follow.
Need a few extra quick tips for writing a character reference letter? Keep the following dos and don’ts handy.