Character Reference Letter (30+ Samples for Court, Immigration, Job, etc.)

writing a character reference

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,

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

The letter focuses mainly on the personal characteristic of an individual that makes him or her ability 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 character reference letter, an employer is able to comprehend the candidate’s personal traits and personality in a better way.

Note: An applicant should always try and avoid requesting a character reference letter from someone with whom they share familial ties.

The purpose or usage of a character (or personal) reference letter is as follows.

This letter 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.

Benefits of Character Reference Letter

Including a character reference letter 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 a character reference 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 employment status 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 the job.

Provides ease of getting work for people from certain demographics

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

Prewriting Considerations

When you agree to write a character reference letter, you shouldn’t be nervous! While character reference 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 a character reference letter 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 a character reference letter for a particular candidate or applicant.

Explain the relation with applicant

The recommender should explain when he or she 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 him or her qualified to write the character reference letter for that particular candidate.

For example,

I have known (Name of Applicant) for 5years 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 alongside some valid examples if any. He or she should share about three personal qualities that would interest the employer in offering the candidate the job position.

For example,

(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 of offered the job.

Statement of recommendation

The final statement a recommender should make when writing a personal reference 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 provision of particular information.

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

For instance,

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

Samples of Character Reference Letter

Note: All Character Reference Letters have VERY Subtle Differences!

Sample Character Reference Letter for Job

September 1, 20XX 

 

John Smith

123 Park Street

Anytown, MA 12345

555 555-5555

[email protected] 

 

Lisa Kiel

Director, Human Resources

Anytown Horse Therapy

123 Business Rd.

Anytown, IL 54321 

 

Dear Ms. Kiel, 

 

I have known Sydney Doe in a variety of capacities for many years. She has been my daughter’s riding instructor for the past several years. In addition, she is my daughter’s babysitter while I am out of town on business. 

 

Sydney is efficient, detail-oriented, and extremely competent. She often successfully finishes a task well before the deadline. She is extremely organized, and never misses a deadline or forgets an assignment. 

 

Sydney also has an excellent rapport with people of all ages. She has taught riding to both young children and the elderly, and every age in between. Her excellent communication skills (both written and verbal) allow her to connect with all kinds of people and to inspire them to put for their best effort. 

 

In summary, I highly recommend Sydney for any position or endeavor that she may seek to pursue. She will be a valuable asset to any organization. 

 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

 

Sincerely, 

John Smith

Sample Character Reference for Immigration

September 1, 20XX 

 

John Smith

123 Main Street

Anytown, MA 12345

555 555-5555

[email protected] 

 

To Whom It May Concern: 

 

I have known Haramrit Mulani in a variety of capacities for many years. She has been my daughter’s private flute instructor for the past five. She has also been my coworker at Johnson City School Corporation. She has lived in this country since her teens and is now able to apply for citizenship. 

 

Haramrit is efficient, detail-oriented, and extremely competent. She often successfully finishes a task well before the deadline. She is extremely organized, and never misses a deadline or forgets an assignment. 

 

Haramrit also has an excellent rapport with people of all ages. She has taught music lessons to both young children and the elderly, and every age in between. Her excellent communication skills (both written and verbal) allow her to connect with all kinds of people and to inspire them to put in their best effort. 

 

In summary, I highly recommend Haramrit for citizenship. She is dedicated to this country that she calls home and it would only be right to call her an American citizen. 

 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

 

Sincerely, 

John Smith

Sample Character Reference Letter for Court

September 1, 20XX

 

John Smith

123 Main Street

Anytown, MA 12345

555 555-5555

[email protected] 

 

To The Presiding Judge: 

 

I have known Jim Morrison in a variety of capacities for many years. He has been my daughter’s softball coach for the past 3 years. He and his wife have been personal friends of my family for the past 12 years. 

 

Jim has expressed to me the charges that were filed against him due to owing back child support for his son who is now 14 years of age. Having known Jim for the time that I have, Jim has expressed to me his sadness that he has not been able to have a relationship with his son due to the tension between him and his ex-wife. I have watched him for the past 10 years as he has been struggling with his custody battle. 

 

Jim works with young people coaching softball every weekend. He personally has offered assistance to families to make sure they and their children were able to make games and practices. He and his wife run a camp during the summer for students who are unable to afford summer care and do not charge a fee to provide activities and meals to the students. They run solely based on grants and donations that the two of them have obtained. 

 

In summary, I believe that Jim should receive leniency in this case due to the punishments that he has already suffered. 

 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

 

Sincerely, 

John Smith

Free Templates and Examples

Use the following templates to guide you and keep it short.

Character Reference Letter 01

character reference letter for court

Sample Reference Letter from an Employer

Character reference letter from neighbor

character reference letter template

Reference Letter from Principal

Sample Reference Letter from Brother

Letter of Reference for Babysitter

Reference Letter from Friend’s Parents

character reference letter examples

Personal or Character Reference Letter

Character Reference Letter for Teacher

sample personal character reference letter

Character Reference Letter for Friend

sample character reference letter for a friend

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character reference for a friend

character reference for court

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    Character Reference Letter Examples

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    character reference for a friend in court

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    Reference Letter from Current Employer

    Reference Letter from Neighbor

    personal character reference letter

    character reference letter to judge

    character reference for a friend for a job

    character reference letter for court template

    character reference letter for court example

    Reference Letter from Principal

    character reference letter for student

    character reference letter for a friend

    character reference letter for employee

    character reference letter for a mother

    character reference letter for coworker

    sample character reference letter for student

    sample character reference letter for a relative

    character reference letter for college

      Professional Writing Tips

      To write a proper character reference letter, a referee or recommender can use the following tips to be successful when writing it.

      • Request information: As a recommender, having enough and correct information about the applicant will make it easier to write the character reference letter. There is a need to request all the information. For instance, a recommender can request for 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 to write this kind of letter if they cannot authentically write positively about the candidate.
      • Keep it brief: A character reference letter 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 a character reference letter. A prospective employer is not interested in the applicant’s personal struggles and any other intimate stories.
      • Proofread and edit: Finally, after writing the letter while observing the above tips, a referee should proofread the letter 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 personal reference letter.

      Conclusion

      A character or personal reference letter is among the references needed by an employer and is a bit different from the 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 reference letter should have a personal relationship with the applicant. He or she should also be able to relate to the qualities of the candidate which makes it easier for them to write a character reference letter 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 the character reference letter from our detailed article.

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