A character reference letter is used in a variety of situations to establish the trustworthiness of a person. Here’s some information about a this letter along with a sample.
A character reference letter is one of the most important letters which you need when you are applying for a job, a loan, college admission, etc. It helps establish your credibility and your talents. There are several people and institutions who will demand this letter to back up your personal claims about yourself, especially when two people are entering an arrangement which involves trust and/or money. If you are applying for a loan, it is not feasible for a lender to personally look into your personal history, so he asks for this letter from an authority figure.
Like I said, a person who is writing this letter needs to have two basic requirements: the person should know you personally for an extended period of time and the person should be a high authority figure in a respectable and trustworthy position himself. These letters may be written by family members, friends, teachers, former employers and oddly enough, clergymen. But the underlying thought process of the person who demands the reference letter is the same, to get a positive feedback about a person from one who knows the person in question well.
These are required by a wide number of people like college admission authorities, job interviewers, lenders, insurance companies, the court etc. Each letter is quite different and demands different content and a different perspective. But the bottom-line remains the same i.e. to endorse the credibility of a certain person.
Although essentially, it is an exercise in formal business writing, it gives the writer some scope to toe the line between formal and informal. Why? Because, when you are trying to endorse someone, you need to go beyond the ‘short-and-simple’ and impress the fact on the reader that the character of the person in question is truly above-board. But there is a limit of course. The tone of the letter shouldn’t be excessively laudatory, which makes it biased and therefore, untrustworthy. A little confusing isn’t it? Well, let me simplify it for you with this sample reference letter. This letter is a sample letter for court. The assumption here is that one person (Michael) has been caught on the charge for possessing drugs. You (Joseph) are the Mike’s employer and wish to convey to the court that, given Michael’s track record at work, you feel it is highly unlikely that he would be party to any such illegal activity.
|To Whomsoever It May Concern,
It has been brought to my attention that one of the employees of our esteemed company, Michael Bollinger has been caught on the charge of possessing illegal drugs
I have known Michael for the past 10 years where he has been an outstanding employee of our company. He has been an extremely participative in the activities of the company and has been one of our best employees for pretty much as long as he has been here. And the fact that he has been caught in possession of drugs is highly shocking to me and his employees in general. I would also like to add that having known him for so long, it is highly unlikely that he would possess, let alone consume these substances.
Still, I believe that a law is a law. My only humble request is that you hand him a fair trial, during which I am sure, he will be able to prove his innocence and resume his normal life again..
A character reference letter has to be written carefully. After all, a lot hinges on what the reader feels about the person after you’ve written about him. So in a way, it could be a very important letter for the person you’re writing about. So you can follow this sample letter to be sure that the person you’re writing it for, gets whatever he wants.