12 Best Character Reference Letter Samples (Written for Friend)

A Character Reference Letter for a Friend is a letter written to a potential employer, on behalf of a friend, relative, or neighbor, who is applying for a job position in a company. It introduces the applicant to the employer while highlighting the applicant’s character and personality to persuade the employer to hire them.  

You can write the letter if you are a friend, relative, or neighbor of the applicant. As the referrer, you are expected to be familiar enough with the applicant enough to give detailed information about their character and personality. Additionally, you can write the letter as a business associate, professor, customer, or academic advisor.

As a church group leader, school camp, 4-H, or a voluntary program, you can refer members through the letter.  Members within other groups, such as sports groups, can also refer to each other. Fundamentally, suppose you have interacted with an applicant in a capacity that explicitly demonstrated their character and abilities enough to be referenced, for example, as a babysitter. In that case, you can write a reference letter for them.

Free Templates

Following are some free, downloadable templates for you:

Professional Editable HR Manager Character Reference Letter Sample as Word Document

Professional Editable Technology Writer Character Reference Letter Sample as Word Document

    Pre-Writing Considerations

    Any time a friend, colleague, or relative requests that you write a letter, there are certain things you ought to consider before you begin the writing process. These pre-writing considerations ensure that the letter accomplishes its intended purpose.

    These pre-writing considerations are:

    Make sure you are qualified

    There should be a meaningful relationship or interaction between the referrer and the applicant for the letter to have weight or influence. If you are close acquaintances, you will be better positioned to give insight into the applicant’s character. A qualification consideration often used by employers is how long you have known the candidate; the longer the friendship or acquaintance, the more qualified the referrer. Always consider how much you know about the applicant, how well-prepared or positioned you are to answer additional questions from the employer, and if you have the time to create a well-prepared letter.

    Know your audience

    Always strive to know to whom the letter will be addressed. Check with the applicant if the letter is for a specific application or generic for all their applications. Once you have established who you are addressing in the letter, you can write a letter aligned with the application at hand.


    The contents of the letter for a teaching position will differ from that of a security guard position.  

    Collect information

    A detailed and factual letter is more effective than a simple and ambiguous letter. Therefore, gathering information to input in the letter will always be positive towards creating a quality letter. Ask the applicant to submit a copy of their resume and the job specifications. The information in these documents adds substance to the letter. 

    Think carefully before saying yes

    Before agreeing to write the letter, contemplate whether you can write a positive reference letter. If there is a hint of doubt or you are uncomfortable referring to the applicant for any reason, politely decline the request. Saying no is always better than writing a substandard letter.

    How to Write a Character Reference Letter for a Friend

    Once you have chosen to write the letter and have the information you need, proceed with the writing process. How you format and present the letter will greatly impact how effective the letter will be in improving the candidate’s application.

    Below are steps to guide any referrer as they write their letter for a friend:

    The letter, like most official documents, begins with a header. A header introduces the sender to the recipient. It should be formatted as with most job-related letters.

    The details to include in the header are:

    Include your personal information

    Your personal information, such as name, job title, and mailing address, should be included. Ensure that you use your official name and a valid address. Providing personal details is important for identification purposes; the employer will always want to know who exactly is referring to the applicant so that the letter’s authenticity can be ascertained. Contact details include a phone number, email address, and any other contact information, such as a LinkedIn URL. 


    Jerry Saints,
    20 Williams Street,
    Cheshire, CO 7492

    City and date

    The letter ought to be dated and show the sender’s location. While providing the mailing address, include the city where you are located. The date comes after the sender’s details. Therefore, write down the date by indicating the day, month, and year when the letter was written.


    August 20, 2021

    Hiring manager’s details

    The next section should outline the recipient’s (employer) details. Indicate their full name, position in the company, company name, and physical company address. Finding the employer’s name should be done before beginning to write the letter. Sometimes getting the actual name might be a lot of work,  but it is worth the wait. Addressing the recipient by their name is important for engagement. In the mailing address, provide the city, street address, and ZIP code.


    Alice Hopkins,
    Hiring Manager,
    Kreotix Networks Co.,
    58 Clarendon Avenue,
    Roland, CA 59421


    To finalize the heading section, provide a formal salutation. Ensure to use the appropriate titles; Mr. Mrs, Ms, Dr., etc. The title should precede the hiring manager’s last name.  


    Dear Mr. Harrison,

    State your relationship with the candidate

    The next step is to start the letter by stating your relationship with the applicant. At this point, you can declare how long you have known the candidate or in what capacity you have interacted with the applicant. Use a few lines to declare this information and let the recipient know the exact applicant you are referring to.


    I’m writing this reference letter as a colleague and friend to Ms. Victoria Bells for the secretary position at BlinkIn Associates. I’ve known Victoria for five years now, and she is a devoted employee who would excellently fill the position at your company.

    The state applicant’s character

    Once it is clear who is being recommended and the relationship you have with the candidate, you can proceed to highlight desirable personal traits (character) that make them suitable candidates for the job. State at least one or two qualities. As much as possible, try to align the qualities or traits with the job specifications. The given traits should be relevant to the position the candidate is applying for.


    Harry is an ambitious and creative web designer. His love for IT and drive to make the world more convenient through technology show his potential for the Chief Web Designer position at your company. His discipline and integrity are impeccable, traits I have always admired in him.

    Include specific examples 

    For every highlighted quality or trait, provide a real-life example that clearly demonstrates the applicant’s ability to use it. You can talk about how the candidate used the traits to help you or another person. Mention the applicant’s voluntary work, life goals they have achieved, and support they offer to others.  You can try to match the examples with the roles and responsibilities associated with the job position.


    Jane is a friendly neighbor and is known to help people whenever she can. She takes on roles during community events. Jane is also our homeowner’s association treasurer and has been for the second year now. She is devoted to any position she is given and spends long hours to make sure plans go as intended.

    The improvement you have seen

    Next, talk about the improvement or growth you have observed in the applicant throughout the period you have known them.


    Declare how they have matured in making better decisions, handling difficult situations, etc. reiterate that they are committed to becoming even better people personally and professionally.

    Having known Jerry since he was a teenager, I have seen him mature in his decision-making and become a responsible individual who takes the initiative at work and in his personal life. It has been an honor to watch him become the esteemed accountant he is today, and I believe he has the potential to become even better.

    The letter should then have an exhaustive conclusion that restates the key points discussed in the letter and thanks the reader for going through the letter. Also, provide your contact details and invite the hiring manager to ask any further questions they may have. The contact details can be a phone number or email address.


    With that being said, I sure do hope you will consider Mrs. Smith for the vacant position, as she is able and qualified to take up the role. I’m available for further queries at 114-3299-050. Thank you.


    Finally, close the letter with a complimentary close and provide a signature. A signature implies that the sender authenticates the information provided in the document. It is important to note that if the letter is in email format, a professional email signature will suffice; a handwritten signature is not required.


    Sandra Biggs

    Character Reference Letter Template

    [Your Name]

    [Your Address]

    [City, State, Zip Code]

    [Email Address]

    [Phone Number]


    [Recipient’s Name]

    [Recipient’s Title]

    [Company’s Name]

    [Company’s Address]

    [City, State, Zip Code]

    Dear [Recipient’s Name],

    I am writing to wholeheartedly recommend [Friend’s Name] for the position [they are applying for] at [Company’s Name]. Having known [Friend’s Name] for over [number of years] years, both personally and professionally, I can attest to [his/her/their] exceptional character, work ethic, and dedication.

    Professional Competence and Work Ethic:

    Dedication to Excellence: [Friend’s Name] has always displayed a remarkable dedication to excellence in every task [he/she/they] undertakes. Whether it was during our time working together at [Company/Project/Event] or through the various community projects [he/she/they] has led, [Friend’s Name] consistently goes above and beyond to ensure the highest quality of work.

    Adaptability and Problem-Solving Skills: In a rapidly changing work environment, [Friend’s Name]’s ability to adapt and find innovative solutions to complex problems has been nothing short of impressive. [He/She/They] possesses a unique blend of creativity and analytical skills that enable [him/her/them] to tackle challenges from multiple angles and come up with effective solutions.

    Teamwork and Leadership: [Friend’s Name] is a natural leader who inspires those around [him/her/them]. [He/She/They] has an innate ability to bring people together, fostering a collaborative and productive work environment. [His/Her/Their] leadership is characterized by empathy, respect, and the encouragement of open communication, which I believe will make [him/her/them] an invaluable asset to your team.

    Personal Qualities:

    Integrity and Reliability: [Friend’s Name] is a person of high moral integrity. [He/She/They] is honest, dependable, and consistently demonstrates a strong sense of responsibility in all aspects of [his/her/their] life. You can count on [him/her/them] to uphold the values and standards of [Company’s Name].

    Empathy and Interpersonal Skills: [Friend’s Name]’s ability to understand and relate to people is remarkable. [He/She/They] communicates effectively and respectfully with individuals at all levels and is adept at building meaningful relationships. This skill not only makes [him/her/them] a great team player but also enables [him/her/them] to effectively manage client relationships.

    In conclusion, I have no reservations in recommending [Friend’s Name] for the position at [Company’s Name]. I am confident that [his/her/their] blend of skills, experience, and personal qualities will make [him/her/them] a standout addition to your team. Please feel free to contact me at [your phone number] or [your email address] if you require any further information or insights.

    Thank you for considering my recommendation.


    [Your Name]

    Sample Character Reference Letters

    The following are some samples given:

    Sample Letter 1

    To whom it may concern,

    I am writing to wholeheartedly recommend my friend and colleague, James Miller, for any position he chooses to pursue. I have known James for over five years, during which we worked together at SolarTech Innovations, a leading firm in renewable energy solutions. James’ expertise in project management and his innovative approach to problem-solving have been invaluable to our team.

    James possesses a unique blend of technical proficiency and interpersonal skills. He spearheaded several high-profile projects, consistently delivering results that exceeded expectations. His ability to manage complex tasks with ease, while maintaining a positive team environment, is truly remarkable. He is not only a strategic thinker but also pays great attention to detail, ensuring every aspect of a project is flawlessly executed.

    Beyond his professional skills, James is a person of great integrity and empathy. He frequently volunteers for community service and mentors young professionals in our organization. His compassion and dedication to helping others have earned him the respect and admiration of everyone he works with.

    I am confident that James will be an asset to any organization he joins. His combination of professional expertise, dedication, and personal qualities makes him a standout individual. I wholeheartedly endorse him and am happy to provide further information if required.


    Elizabeth Roberts

    Sample Letter 2

    Dear Hiring Manager,

    I am delighted to write this letter of recommendation for my long-time friend, Sarah Johnson. Having known Sarah for over a decade, I can attest to her exceptional character and professionalism. We first met at the University of Greenfield, and I have since had the pleasure of observing her career growth in the field of marketing.

    Sarah’s commitment to excellence is evident in everything she does. At BrightMind Marketing, where we worked together for three years, she consistently demonstrated her ability to lead successful campaigns and nurture client relationships. Her innovative strategies contributed significantly to increasing our client base and enhancing our company’s reputation in a highly competitive market.

    What sets Sarah apart is her exceptional communication skills and her natural ability to connect with people. She is a team player who brings out the best in her colleagues. Her positive attitude and proactive approach make her a joy to work with. She is always willing to go the extra mile to ensure project success.

    Sarah’s dedication, combined with her expertise, makes her an ideal candidate for any role in marketing and communications. I am confident that she will continue to excel and make a meaningful impact wherever she goes. Please feel free to contact me for any further information.

    Best regards,  

    Michael Thompson

    Sample Letter 3

    Dear Sir or Madam,

    I am writing to recommend my esteemed colleague and friend, David Anderson, for any future endeavors he chooses to undertake. I have had the privilege of working with David for six years at Apex Financial Solutions, where his contributions have been nothing short of outstanding.

    David’s knowledge and expertise in financial analysis and planning are exceptional. He has played a pivotal role in developing innovative financial strategies that have greatly benefited our clients and the company. His analytical skills, combined with a keen sense of market trends, make him a valuable asset to any team.

    Moreover, David is a natural leader who inspires confidence and loyalty in his colleagues. He is a mentor to many and is always available to offer guidance and support. His collaborative approach and commitment to ethical practices have greatly contributed to a positive and productive work environment.

    In conclusion, David is a remarkable professional with a wealth of experience and a commendable character. His dedication, expertise, and leadership qualities make him an ideal candidate for any position in the finance sector. I have no doubt that he will continue to achieve great success in his future endeavors.

    Yours faithfully,  

    Rebecca Green

    Related: Recommendation Letters by Supervisor


    These reference letters are well-structured and serve as good examples for anyone looking to write a professional recommendation. Each letter starts with a formal salutation, setting a respectful and professional tone. The writers introduce their relationship with the candidate clearly, such as by describing them as a “friend and colleague,” which establishes credibility. The body of the letters is skillfully used by the writers to highlight the candidate’s key qualities and achievements. Specific examples, like managing high-profile projects or leading successful campaigns, are provided, lending concrete evidence to their capabilities. This approach not only underscores the candidate’s professional skills but also sheds light on their personal attributes, like integrity and empathy. Such details paint a comprehensive picture of the candidate, making these letters effective and informative guides for writing character references.

    Effective Tips

    The letter will ordinarily contribute immensely to the applicant’s chances of securing the position. When you write the letter, you should be aiming to come up with the best letter possible.

    You can incorporate the following tips in the writing process to ensure the letter serves its intended purpose:

    Be honest

    As much as you want to be more convincing to help your friend get the job, always be honest. Avoid exaggerating the quality of the applicant. There are always ways you can be more persuasive without giving false information. Falsifying information in the letter hurts the candidate’s chances of getting the job.

    Make your letter easy to comprehend 

    Always create a letter that is easy to understand. Most reviewers will be scanning multiple letters to obtain the relevant information and keywords. Make it easier for them to get to know the applicant’s strongest qualities by structuring the letter appropriately. Use casual vocabulary, short, concise sentences, well-spaced words, and short paragraphs, and avoid repetition. The easier the letter will be to understand, the easier it will be to go through it in its entirety.

    Remain positive

    Maintain a positive tone throughout the letter. Let the potential employer know the applicant’s most desirable qualities. The objective of the letter should be to help the candidate get the job; by focusing on the positives, the employer is more likely to review the letter on a positive note, which might create a positive impression about the applicant.

    Review samples and templates

    Go through the samples and templates available on the internet and note down the writing techniques and structuring adopted. This speeds up the writing process, as you are now aware of the type of information employers are looking for.

    Use business letter format

    All reference letters to be physically mailed should be written in business format. The letter should have a header, salutation, introduction, body, conclusion, and a handwritten signature. However, emailed letters do not have to be in the same business format.

    Be unique

    As much as you can refer to samples, templates, and guidelines, tailor the letter to reflect the applicant’s individualistic experience. Vary the content outlined in the letter from that obtained from examples. This goes a long way toward making the letter stand out and creating an impression. 

    Follow the submission guidelines

    Employers will often issue guidelines as to how the letter should be submitted. Ask the applicant to outline any given guidelines. Guidelines will often relate to the document’s format, length in pages, method of submission, etc.

    Be specific

    When outlining qualities, be specific. Generic qualities compromise the quality of the letter.


    Instead of stating that the applicant is hardworking, choose more specific qualities such as resilience or persistence.

    Focus on the particular job

    The information given in the letter should be relevant to the job position the candidate is applying for. First, review the job requirements of the particular job from job listings. Then incorporate qualities, phrases, and words associated with the position. If the letter is to be a generic reference letter, ask the applicant to list the types of jobs they are interested in and link the letter to those jobs. 

    Proofread and edit

    Always proofread the letter before submitting it. Look out for any spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, typos, and sentence structure. If there are any, edit accordingly.

    Be concise

    The letter should give sufficient information without being too monotonous or too long. One page is usually enough to include everything. The letter can have three to five paragraphs.

    Key Takeaways

    A character reference for a friend is not a professional recommendation letter. However, it is an official document that goes on the applicant’s file and should therefore be formatted as such. As much as the letter should be persuasive, it should not be exaggerated.Keep the letter honest and provide specific examples that demonstrate the applicant’s qualities instead of simply stating them. The letter for a friend should be one page long; longer than that, it becomes monotonous and might not get entirely reviewed.
    Lastly, before accepting to refer someone, always be sure to write a positive reference letter. Note that writing this letter for someone you are close to makes it easier to create an excellent letter.

    About This Article

    Haley S.
    Authored by:
    Resume Writing, Cover Letter Writing, Content Writing, Curriculum Vitae, Biographies
    Haley Sawyer has transformed the professional narratives of thousands, meticulously crafting resumes and cover letters that unlock the doors to their dream jobs. Whether it is sales, healthcare, or any other domain, Haley's expertise in creating ATS-compatible resumes always stand out in the crowd. Haley's portfolio spans a diverse range of industries: from Healthcare and Business to IT, Sales Leadership, and Engineering. She caters to professionals at all stages, from entry-level aspirants to seasoned C-suite executives. Beyond resumes, her services extend to cover letter writing, crafting compelling biographies, and content writing.

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