A character reference letter may be written for a friend, coworker, employee, neighbor or anyone you have known fairly well over the years. It can be written for college admissions, employment requirements or for court appearances. Whatever may be the reason, character reference letters are written in less formal terms. They are also expected to be straightforward, highlighting the best attributes of the individual for whom the letter is being written. Here are some helpful tips and some examples of character reference letters that will help you write one.Before You Begin
If you want a letter for yourself, ask someone who has known you for a long time and can mention positive things about you, to write it. If you have been asked to write a letter for someone you know, make sure you mention only her/his positive traits. Additionally, remember these points.
• A character reference letter is meant to have a personal tone. Write the letter in first person and use "I". Use personal experiences to relate qualities about the person that are worth mentioning.
• If possible, include a positive story about the person that left an impact on the minds of those present around him.
• The best way to portray a positive image is by using strong words to describe the individual. For example, you may use words as committed, dedicated, generous, intelligent, empathetic, loyal, etc. in your letter.
• If you think you cannot do justice to the individual in the letter, decline the proposition to write it. A half-hearted piece of writing reflects your opinions about the person and may turn out to worsen the situation for her/him.
By a Family Member - For Adoption
To Whom it May Concern,
One would always assume that it is the older sister who is responsible for her younger sister. But in Joanne's case, it was always she who took care of me. I am always puzzled by how she developed these motherly qualities, considering the fact that we lost our parents when we were very young.
I think this nurturing quality comes naturally to Joanne. She cares, and that reflects in every aspect of her life, even in the plants she takes care of. Her husband Arnold, on the other hand, balances her highly caring nature with the strictness that it takes to be a parent, by ensuring that things are done in moderation.
The only way I can assure you of the ability of Joanne and Arnold to parent a child is their relationship with my 7-year old daughter, Myra. The three of them share a bond that is as good as that of any parent with a child. They draw out her best, and it shows in the way she is evolving as a human being.
To conclude, all I can say is both of them are dependable human beings who know the importance of raising a good human being who can add value to society. Should you have any further queries regarding the two, you may contact me on 9876-5432 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
By a Friend - For Court Appearance
The Presiding Magistrate (Local Court) OR The Presiding Judge (District/Supreme Court)
This is a character reference for Anna Hayes, who has been charged with possessing a gun illegally. I have known Anna for 7 years as a colleague and a very good friend. It is highly unlikely that someone of her moral fiber would own a gun without a license. I have always known her as someone who is highly organized, always pays bills on time, and always maintains a log of receipts for every purchase she makes. It is hard to believe that someone who is so meticulously organized would possess a gun without a license.
Anna is a responsible individual who understands, abides by, and respects the laws of this nation.
I work with Anna at XYZ Corporation in the capacity of a Corporate Internet Manager, and have been employed there for 10 years now. If you wish to verify anything about her, you may contact me on 9876-5432 or email@example.com.
By a Professional Acquaintance - For Employment Recommendation
To Whomsoever it May Concern,
It is an honor to write a reference letter for Dave Gates, a highly valued member of my team at ABC Advertising.
When Dave joined our team, I was confident, more than he was, that he would prove himself through his work eventually. Dave is one of those guys who develops a talent for things he likes doing very quickly. This he proved by becoming one of our best graphic designers in a short span of 7 months. Dave's biggest asset is his passion. When he is passionate about something, it shows in his approach to a particular task, as well as the final product. He wastes no time in learning what he thinks would benefit his skills. He is not the kind of person who is content with knowing 'just enough' to get by. He has a thirst for knowledge pertaining to his job and passion, and he ensures that he is constantly evolving.
Any organization that requires a focused, passionate graphic designer who is well aware of changing trends in the field as well as related fields will benefit immensely from hiring Dave. Should you require any more information about him, you may contact me at 9876-5432 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Head - Department of Graphics Communications
By a Professor - For Scholarship Application
Dear Ma'am/Sir (Name of Counselor/Admissions Officer),
I could tell you that Mia Stevens is an excellent student, that her grades are far above average, and that her extracurricular achievements are beyond comparison. However, you already have the necessary documentation to tell you that. I'd rather talk about the qualities that make her an extraordinary person.
Mia is someone who likes to be happy, and she leaves no stone unturned in spreading this happiness. She is a firm believer of the fact that the lesser you focus on the bad, the lesser it affects you. As a shining example of this fact, she is able to give her best to everything she does. A naturally talented girl, Mia has exceptional leadership qualities. She heads the book club at school, encourages reading as a hobby, and has the knack of discovering lesser-known but brilliant pieces of writing. She also organized the Woods High School Literary Fest with her team in 2012, an event that was a roaring success and even found a commendable mention in a leading daily.
When she told me that she has applied for the Creative Writing program at your esteemed university, I was thrilled. The world needs such enthusiastic writers who have the sensibility to spread their knowledge to a larger number of people. It is highly unlikely that you will regret granting Mia the scholarship that she deserves. If anyone is worth every penny that your scholarship offers, it is Mia, and I can back this claim wholeheartedly.
Woods High School
A character reference letter should be crisp and most importantly, believable. As mentioned earlier, this letter can make or break a person's case. Just keep it simple and write one straight from the heart.