A character reference letter is basically a type of reference letter wherein you describe a particular individual's professional and personal attributes to highlight his merit. Many people believe that it is same as a letter of recommendation. While that is partially true, the right words to put it would be a personal recommendation letter.
Writing a Letter for Character Reference
Irrespective of whether you are writing a reference letter for your friend, colleague, or your employee, you need to abide by basic rules of writing such letters, and the best way to get well-versed with the basics is to go through a template and sample of this letter type.
To Whomsoever It May Concern,
In the first paragraph you are expected to introduce yourself and give the details about how you know the individual.
In the subsequent paragraph you can get into the details of the matter and highlight the person's positive attributes.
In the concluding paragraph you can briefly summarize the person's character with some descriptive words.
Character reference letters have a great significance when it come to legal matters. While 'To Whomsoever It May Concern' is a generic salutation, you will have to use a formal salutation such as 'Your Honor', 'To The Presiding Judge', or 'To The Presiding Magistrate' when addressing the same to a judge or for court appearances. Similarly, whilst ending the letter, you can give your phone number and offer to provide more information if required.
1886 Ramsay Street,
Date: September 23, 2010
To Whomsoever It May Concern,
I have known Steve Rogers since the last seven years as both of us have been working with XYZ Communications for the said period. Other than this professional relationship, we have also been acquainted with each other as family friends for a long time.
There is no questioning the fact that Steve is a well-organized, highly efficient, and extremely competent person. His friendly nature and exceptional communication skills have always earned him excellent rapport with people of all age groups. In these seven years that I have known him, I have been truly impressed with his dedication to any endeavor that he gets involved in.
That being said, I would surely recommend Steve for the position he is seeking. With the qualities that he demonstrates, he will surely be an asset for your company. You can contact me if you require more information. I would be more than obliged to be of some help for you.
Ideally, you should only write this letter if you are sure that the said individual―for whom you are writing it―really deserves it. By writing this letter, you are informally taking the responsibility of his behavior.
A letter for character reference is by no means related to economic activities, and therefore, you have the liberty of being a bit informal when writing it. Similarly, a straightforward description of the said individual's character, as given in this sample letter, is anytime better than beating around the bush. In fact, the latter can even make the reader doubt the credibility of the source (the person writing the letter, i.e., you) and the subject (for whom you are writing it).