40 Sample Character Reference Letters (Court, Immigration)

A character reference letter is also known as a personal reference letter. Such a letter is not written by an individual who relates to the candidate in a professional way, like a previous employer, but one who has a personal relationship with them.

By definition,

It is a letter that is typically written by an acquaintance of a job applicant to employers who may require evidence of their personal qualities.

It focuses mainly on the personal characteristic of an individual that makes them able to work well in a particular company. A referee, in this case, can be a candidate’s coach, a volunteer leader, co-worker, advisor, neighbor, professional mentor, or even a family friend. With this letter, an employer is able to comprehend the candidate’s personal traits and personality in a better way.


An applicant should always try and avoid requesting it from someone with whom they share familial ties.

The purpose or usage of this letter is as follows:

  • It helps the potential employer to gauge the applicant and find out if they can fit well in their organization or company based on their personal traits.
  • It also provides the potential employer with details of the candidate’s character traits and personal attributes from a third-party perspective. An employer is sure of the truthfulness of an applicant’s personality.

Character Reference Letter Examples

Free Character Reference Letter Template 01 for Word File

Editable Character Reference Letter Template 02 for Word File

Editable Character Reference Letter Sample 01 for Word File

Free Character Reference Letter Sample 02 for Word File

Printable Character Reference Template 03 for Word File

Free Character Reference Sample 03 for Word File

Editable Character Reference Sample 04 for Word File

Printable Character Reference Letter Sample 05 for Word File

Free Character Reference Letter Sample 06 for Word File
Professional Character Reference Template 04 for Word File

Printable Character Reference Template 05 for Word File

Editable Character Reference Sample 07 for Word File

Printable Character Reference Sample 08 for Word File

Free Character Reference Sample 09 for Word File

Printable Character Reference Sample 10 for Word File

Free Character Reference Sample 11 for Word File

Editable Character Reference Template 06 for Word File

Printable Character Reference Template 07 for Word File

Free Character Reference Template 08 for Word File

Free Character Reference Sample 12 for Word File

    Benefits of Character Reference Letter

    Including it during application has its benefits. Some of these benefits are as follows:

    Increases the chances of getting a job for a candidate.

    A candidate who includes this letter in their application documents increases their chances of getting a job, especially if they lack a strong background when it comes to employment. Such candidates might be new to the job market, that is:

    • They might be a student straight from university or college.
    • They might also have been off the job for a period of time.

    Such an  applicant might be lacking the essential professional references needed to secure the available job position. Having this letter might help to boost their application. This way, they get an opportunity to secure a job.

    Provides ease of getting work for people from certain demographics

    When it comes to people like children or the elderly in society, having this letter helps them to secure a job. Such demographics most likely have little to zero experience and having it helps highlight their good behavior and character, which makes it easier to get work.

    Prewriting Considerations

    When you agree to write it, you shouldn’t be nervous! While these letters are formal letters of reference, to an extent, you shouldn’t be expected to spill out a person’s entire life story. Nor are you going to have to pour out your life story to prove that you are qualified to write on your friend’s behalf.

    Before you begin writing, here are some important questions to ask:

    • What position has the person applied for?
    • What are the qualifications for this job?
    • What qualifications does this person have that you think would make them good for this job?
    • How long have you known this person?
    • How often do you speak to this person? (This can also be used by you to determine how well you actually know them.)

    Who can write a character reference letter

    There is a long list of people who can write it for the applicant. Here is a list of possible people:

    • A close friend
    • A professor
    • A teacher
    • An employer
    • A family member
    • A classmate
    • A co-Worker

    Writing a Character Reference Letter

    Here is a list of what to include when writing it for a particular candidate or applicant:

    Explain the relationship with the applicant

    The recommender should explain when they met the applicant and for how long they have known them. Also, the referee must describe the extent and nature of the relationship they share with the applicant without being too personal about it. The relation should not be a reason to cast doubt about the objectivity of the recommender in the letter.

    In this section, the recommender can also highlight the reasons that make them qualified to write it for that particular candidate.


    I have known (Name of Applicant) for 5 years now. [He or she] is my neighbor. (Name of Applicant) is my children’s babysitter.

    Add qualities and skills

    The recommender should then highlight all the positive qualities and attributes that the applicant has, along with some valid examples if any. They should share about three personal qualities that would interest the employer in offering the candidate the job position.


    (Name of Applicant) is dedicated, committed, and honest.

    These qualities should not exaggerate about the applicant but show that the applicant can be beneficial to the company if offered the job.

    Statement of recommendation

    The final statement a recommender should make when writing this letter is a powerful and positive statement of recommendation. For example, the recommender can write,


    Due to these reasons, I recommend (Name of Applicant or Candidate) for the position…

    The statement should be precise in a way that shows that the recommender is not only vouching but also believes in the candidate.

    Mention contact information

    A referee should not forget to add their contact information, that is, their email address and phone number. That way, the potential employer can reach out in case there is a need for further clarification and the provision of particular information.

    If one is chosen to be a recommender, there is a need to provide at least two pieces of contact information.


    For further information, please reach out to me through my (email address) or (phone number).

    Template Character Reference Letter

    [Your Name]

    [Your Address]

    [City, State, Zip Code]

    [Your Email Address]

    [Your Phone Number]


    [Recipient’s Name or “To Whom It May Concern”]

    [If applicable: Recipient’s Title and Organization]

    [If applicable: Organization’s Address]

    [City, State, Zip Code]

    Dear [Recipient’s Name or “To Whom It May Concern”],

    I am writing this letter to vouch for the character and integrity of [Person’s Name], whom I have known for [length of time] in my capacity as [your relationship to the person, e.g., “colleague,” “friend,” “mentor,” etc.]. It is with great confidence and respect that I stand in support of [him/her/them], offering insight into [his/her/their] character, work ethic, and contributions to the community.

    Throughout the time I have known [Person’s Name], [he/she/they] has consistently displayed qualities of honesty, reliability, and compassion. [Provide a specific example or story that illustrates these qualities, making sure it is relevant to the context of the reference, e.g., “One instance where [Person’s Name] demonstrated [his/her/their] compassion was when…”].

    [Person’s Name] possesses a strong moral fiber, often going above and beyond to assist others. [He/She/They] has shown [himself/herself/themselves] to be a person of integrity, always treating people with respect and kindness, regardless of the situation. [Include another example or detail that supports this, focusing on situations that demonstrate reliability, responsibility, or moral integrity.]

    In addition to [his/her/their] commendable character traits, [Person’s Name] has also contributed significantly to [mention any relevant community, workplace, or educational achievements or involvements]. These efforts further highlight [his/her/their] dedication to making a positive impact and [his/her/their] ability to work well within a team or independently.

    I firmly believe that [Person’s Name] is an exemplary individual who is a valuable asset to any organization, community, or situation [he/she/they] might find [himself/herself/themselves] in. [His/Her/Their] character and conduct have consistently been above reproach, and I am confident that [he/she/they] will continue to exhibit the same level of excellence and integrity in all future endeavors.

    Should you require any further information or wish to discuss [Person’s Name]’s character and qualifications in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact me at [Your Phone Number] or via email at [Your Email Address].


    [Your Name]

    Samples of Character Reference Letter


    All the following letters have very subtle differences!

    Sample Character Reference Letter for Job

    To Whom It May Concern,

    I am writing to wholeheartedly recommend Alex Thompson for the position you have available within your company. I have had the distinct pleasure of knowing Alex for over five years, initially as a fellow volunteer at our local community center and subsequently as a close personal friend. Throughout this time, Alex has consistently demonstrated qualities that I believe are indicative of an exceptional employee and team member.

    Alex is a person of remarkable integrity and dedication. One of the qualities that stands out most is Alex’s unwavering commitment to any task or responsibility undertaken. Whether organizing community events or leading educational workshops for underprivileged youth, Alex approaches every project with a level of enthusiasm and dedication that is truly inspiring. This commitment, coupled with Alex’s natural leadership abilities, has resulted in the successful execution of numerous community initiatives that have benefited hundreds of individuals.

    Moreover, Alex possesses exceptional interpersonal and communication skills. He has a unique ability to connect with individuals from diverse backgrounds and to foster an environment of collaboration and mutual respect. This skill was particularly evident during the coordination of a community outreach program, where Alex’s efforts led to a significant increase in local engagement and participation. His empathetic nature and ability to listen and respond to the needs of others make him an invaluable team player.

    Alex is also known for his problem-solving skills and creativity. He consistently seeks innovative solutions to challenges and is not afraid to take calculated risks to achieve better outcomes. His proactive approach and ability to think outside the box have often been the driving force behind the success of our community projects.

    In addition to these professional qualities, Alex is a person of great moral character. He is honest, reliable, and possesses a strong work ethic that motivates those around him to strive for excellence. Alex’s positive attitude and genuine care for the well-being of others have made him a beloved member of our community and a trusted friend.

    I am confident that Alex Thompson will be an outstanding addition to your team and will contribute positively to your company’s goals and culture. His professional qualities, combined with his personal integrity and character, make him a unique and valuable candidate.

    Please feel free to contact me at (555) 678-9012 or via email at jessica.hart@email.com if you require any further information or insight regarding Alex’s character and capabilities.


    Jessica Hart

    Marketing Manager

    Bright Futures Marketing Firm

    Sample Character Reference for Immigration

    To Whom It May Concern,

    I am writing this letter in strong support of Mr. John Doe’s application for permanent residency in the United States. As the Community Outreach Coordinator at the Hope and Aid Initiative, I have had the immense pleasure of working alongside John for the past three years. During this time, I have come to know him as a deeply committed, hardworking, and compassionate individual who has made significant contributions to our community.

    John has been an indispensable part of our team, dedicating countless hours to volunteering for various community service projects. His efforts have been crucial in the success of our annual food drive, which serves hundreds of underprivileged families in our area. John’s dedication to serving those in need speaks volumes about his character and his willingness to contribute positively to society.

    Beyond his volunteer work, John has shown a remarkable ability to connect with people from diverse backgrounds. He possesses a genuine warmth and kindness that endears him to everyone he meets. John’s respect for cultural differences and his efforts to build bridges between communities exemplify the qualities that make him an asset to any community.

    John has also demonstrated exceptional moral values in his personal and professional dealings. He is honest, reliable, and upholds strong ethical standards in all his actions. These characteristics, combined with his positive attitude and resilience in the face of challenges, make him a role model for others.

    I have witnessed John’s deep appreciation for the opportunities he has found in this country and his earnest desire to give back to the community that has welcomed him. His commitment to making a positive impact, his work ethic, and his moral character are exactly the qualities that embody the spirit of our nation.

    Granting Mr. John Doe permanent residency status would not only fulfill his dream of building a life in the United States but would also benefit our community immensely. I am confident that he will continue to contribute positively and uphold the values that make this country great.

    Please do not hesitate to contact me at (555) 321-9876 or via email at maria.gonzalez@hopeandaid.org should you require further information or wish to discuss Mr. Doe’s character and contributions in more detail.


    Maria Gonzalez

    Community Outreach Coordinator

    Hope and Aid Initiative

    Sample Character Reference Letter for Court

    To The Honorable Judge Mercer,

    I am writing to you in my capacity as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Hometown, where I have had the distinct privilege of knowing Mr. Daniel Smith for the past five years. Daniel was not only a student of mine but also took on the role of a teaching assistant within the Department of Philosophy. It is in these contexts that I have come to know him well, and I feel compelled to provide a character reference on his behalf.

    Daniel has consistently demonstrated qualities of integrity, responsibility, and compassion throughout his time at the university. He has shown a deep commitment to his academic pursuits, often going above and beyond the requirements to achieve excellence in his studies. His dedication to learning and self-improvement is matched by his willingness to help his peers, often volunteering his time to tutor students who were struggling with the coursework.

    Aside from his academic commitments, Daniel has been an active member of our community, participating in various volunteer programs designed to aid the less fortunate in our area. He has displayed a genuine concern for the welfare of others, dedicating his weekends to working at the local food bank and participating in fundraising events for local charities. His actions have always been driven by a strong moral compass and a desire to make a positive impact on the world around him.

    In light of the current circumstances, I feel it is important to convey my observations of Daniel’s character, which is one of thoughtfulness, reliability, and sincere respect for others. In all my interactions with him, he has shown himself to be a person of good ethical judgment and someone who takes responsibility for his actions.

    While I understand the gravity of the situation at hand, I believe it is crucial to recognize the full scope of an individual’s character. Daniel has shown himself to be a person who is not only remorseful but is also committed to learning from his mistakes and making amends. I have every confidence that he will continue to strive towards being a constructive and valuable member of society.

    Should you require any additional information or wish to discuss Daniel’s character further, please do not hesitate to contact me. I appreciate your consideration of this letter as you make your deliberations.


    Thomas Richardson

    Senior Lecturer, Department of Philosophy

    University of Hometown


    The sample character reference letters effectively advocate for the individuals they endorse, providing detailed accounts of their character, contributions, and suitability for various contexts. In the first letter, the writer highlights exemplary qualities such as integrity, dedication, interpersonal skills, and problem-solving abilities. Concrete examples, such as successful execution of community initiatives and increased local engagement, bolster the credibility of the endorsement. The letter effectively showcases positive attributes, making a strong case for the individual’s suitability as an employee.

    Similarly, the second letter portrays an individual as compassionate and hardworking, who has made significant contributions to the community through volunteer work and the ability to connect with people from diverse backgrounds. It emphasizes moral values, work ethic, and resilience, making a compelling argument for a specific status. It effectively conveys confidence in the individual’s ability to contribute positively to society.

    Lastly, the character reference letter for court presents an individual as responsible, compassionate, and dedicated, drawing upon academic achievements, community involvement, and moral character. The testimony underscores remorse and commitment to personal growth, appealing to an understanding of overall character. Overall, these letters are effective in presenting individuals positively and making persuasive arguments for their respective purposes.

    Free Templates

    Character reference letter examples

    Editable General Reference Letter Example for Word File

    Printable Reference Letter for Friend Example for Word File

    Free Character Reference Letter Template Example 01 for Word File

    Printable Character Reference Letter Template Example 02 for Word File

    Free Reference Letter from Current Employer Example for Word File

    Editable Reference Letter from Neighbor Example for Word File

    Printable Character Reference Letter Example 01 for Word File

    Free Character Reference Letter Template Example 03 for Word File

    Free Work Reference Letter Example for Word File

    Editable Character Reference Letter Template Example 04 for Word File

    Printable Employer Reference Letter Example for Word File

    Free Reference Letter from Principal Example for Word File

    Editable Character Reference Letter Example 02 for Word File

    Free Character Reference Letter Example 03 for Word File

    Editable Character Reference Letter Example 04 for Word File

    Printable Character Reference Letter Example 05 for Word File

    Printable Character Reference Letter Example 06 for Word File

    Free Character Reference Letter Example 07 for Word File

    Editable Character Reference Letter Example 08 for Word File

    Printable Character Reference Letter Template Example 05 for Word File

      Professional Writing Tips

      To write it, a referee or recommender can use the following tips to be successful when writing it:

      • Request information: As a recommender, having enough correct information about the applicant will make it easier to write this letter. There is a need to request all the information. For instance, a recommender can request an applicant’s latest résumé to gather some insights about them.
      • Have a positive tone: A recommender should emphasize an applicant’s positive personal qualities. It is best to maintain a positive tone by avoiding the candidate’s shortcomings. The letter should show that the recommender has confidence in the applicant by listing their positive attributes and characteristics. A referee should not accept this kind of letter if they cannot authentically write positively about the candidate.
      • Keep it brief: It should not be lengthy and too wordy. A referee should write a brief letter that is straight to the point (or specific) about an applicant’s qualities. One page is acceptable, as managers and recruiters are busy with many applicants. Having a concise yet descriptive letter is the best option for a recommender who agrees to write this kind of letter.
      • Give examples: Listing the most important attributes of an applicant is not enough. A referee should give valid examples to back up the personal traits they have mentioned concerning the applicant. Detailed, specific, and real-life examples will help to show that the applicant’s attributes are beneficial to that particular company.
      • Avoid personal information: Private and personal details about the applicant are not necessary or required when writing it. A prospective employer is not interested in the applicant’s personal struggles or any other intimate stories.
      • Proofread and edit: Finally, after writing the letter while observing the above tips, a referee should proofread it and edit grammar, spelling, and any other mistakes. A letter full of mistakes is not professional. A recommender should aim for a professional, polished yet positive letter.


      A character or personal reference letter is among the references needed by an employer and is a bit different from other professional references. It is written to highlight and describe an applicant’s personal traits that make them qualified for a particular job position.

      A recommender for this document should have a personal relationship with the applicant. They should also be able to relate to the qualities of the candidate which makes it easier for them to write it for the applicant.

      An applicant must provide all the information required to make it easy for a recommender to complete the letter before the deadline. Find out more about this letter in our detailed article.

      About This Article

      Ryan Powell
      Authored by:
      Professional Business Management, Quality Assurance, Human Resources, Supplier Management
      With over 15 years in professional business management and an additional 4 years in e-commerce, Ryan Powell has distinguished himself as a strategic leader, steering sites to generate revenues exceeding $100 million. His approach emphasizes proactive problem-solving and profit optimization. Personal attributes such as strong organization, time management, and team collaboration bolster his professional portfolio. Ryan's experience spans leadership roles from Supervisor to General Manager, with notable contributions in Tier 1 Aerospace sectors, partnering with industry leaders like Boeing and Raytheon. He's adept at quality assurance, aligning with AS/ISO 9001 standards, lean methodology, financial management, including P&L oversight, and human resource strategies that prioritize employee retention. Ryan's comprehensive skill set positions him as an invaluable asset to growth-focused organizations.

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