Many people consider it an honor when requested to write a character reference letter. Rightly so as this usually comes from a person they hold in high regard or have some professional connection with. This type of letter provides an objective account of a candidate’s character traits and personal attributes but you can also use a letter of character for different kinds of situations.

Character Reference Letters

What is a character reference letter?

Also referred to as a personal reference letter, a character reference letter for a friend comes from one of your acquaintances who can speak positively about your character attributes.

If you need the letter for a more formal purpose like a character reference letter for court, make sure to choose your reference well. Someone who has enough qualifications and one who will vouch for you as needed.

What should be included in a character reference letter?

It could sometimes be intimidating when writing a character reference letter but actually, it is very straightforward. As long as you tell the truth about the person and why you believe they are a stand-up individual. Here are the typical things included in this type of letter:

  • Introduction
    This includes the date you wrote the letter so the recipient knows how recent it is. Also, use an appropriate honorific at the beginning.
  • Your relationship with the person
    The first paragraph contains a short background about yourself, how long you have known the person, and what your relationship is.
  • The character of the person
    Use the next 1 to 2 paragraphs to describe the person’s character and the things that make them great. You can cite several instances where their character has helped you, the goals they achieved, the volunteering they have done, donations they have made, and other ways that they have helped others.
    Be specific in your descriptions and cite examples if needed, to make the letter more effective. As much as possible, match the examples to the main reason you are writing the letter. For example, if you’re writing a character reference letter for immigration, you need to think carefully about the recipient will consider relevant information.
  • Conclusion
    Finish the letter by thanking the recipient for finding the time to read it and offering to provide answers to any other questions they might have. Include your complete name and your contact details at the bottom.

Character Reference Letters For Court

When to use a character reference letter?

The prospective employer may ask for a character reference letter anytime. This letter can immensely boost an application that isn’t very strong, to begin with. For example, if a person has limited job experiences, the letter will provide the boost they need to land the job.

Aside from employment purposes, you can also use this document for legal purposes. For instance, you can use a character reference letter for court to give evidence that the person you’re about is an overall good person.

Therefore, they shouldn’t get charged with the crime they’re accused of. You must know how do I write a character reference letter for court if you need it for this purpose.

How to write a character reference letter?

There are certain requirements when writing a child custody sample character reference letter or any other letter with a similar purpose. To compose an effectively written document, here are some tips:

  • Explain how you know the person
    This should be at the beginning of your letter. You should explain that you are a reliable information source. If the history between you and the person isn’t ideal for this letter, advise them to ask someone else to draft it.
  • Ask about the purpose of the letter
    You should have some knowledge of the reason for the person needing the letter. For instance, if they need it for a child custody case, you must learn how to write a character reference letter for child custody properly. That way, you and the person will get the best results you’re hoping for.
  • Ask the person what they want to see in the letter
    This is a very important thing to consider when writing this letter. For example, if it’s for employment, you can highlight the best qualities of the person in relation to the job they’re applying for.
    Even if the letter is for a certain job, you still should ask what the person would like to see. There are instances when the most significant qualities aren’t obvious from a simple job description but might show themselves in the interview. To avoid this, the person should provide you with additional information.
  • Provide specific examples
    One of the best ways to drive home the important characteristics that a person has, is to show these qualities in action. Do this by providing examples. These don’t need to be lengthy narratives, just simple, specific examples will do the job.
  • Keep things short and simple
    Don’t make a letter that is too voluminous or long. Just a page or two will suffice. In most cases, an effective letter consists of only three paragraphs.

Character Reference Letters For A Friend

Choosing someone to write your letter

If you need someone to write a character reference letter for you, make sure to choose well. The person can be anyone from your circle of close friends who knows about your best characteristics.

You can also choose someone from your professional circle who knows you personally other than your employer. Here are some examples who might make a great letter for you:

  • An academic advisor or professor
  • A business acquaintance
  • A close co-worker
  • A close co-volunteer
  • A close friend
  • A close neighbor
  • A fellow graduate or a fellow student
  • A loyal customer or client
  • A professional or personal mentor
  • Your coach

It’s recommended not to choose someone with whom you have a direct personal relationship with. The reason for this is that references from them aren’t considered objective. Moreover, your choice must know how to write a character reference letter for a friend.

In order for the person you choose to adequately prepare for the task, provide them with all of the details needed. Once they have accomplished their task of writing the letter, show your appreciation and gratitude by sending them a thank you email or note.