Character Reference Letter Template – Format, Sample & Example

Characters reference letters are generally a form of personal references or written testimonials of an individual’s character, abilities, and nature. It gives an idea to the employer about the kind of person the potential candidate is. This reference letter will help them decide whether the person has the right emotional intelligence and attitude for the job. As this letter might prove vital to a family member or a friend’s career, one must employ due diligence while writing the letter and must adhere to certain conventions which improve the readability and increase greatly, the effectiveness of the character reference.

In this information age, all corporations and employers must protect their resources, assets, and inventions from unlawful thefts or sabotage, to survive. The first place to begin is usually during the recruitment of employees. Companies must ensure that the people they hire have a history of integrity, respect, honesty, and transparency. This will ensure a safe and healthy organisation growth. To facilitate such background checks and ensuring that they are hiring the right people for the job, Companies usually ask for these letters.

In cases of child custody or Driving during intoxication, a character letter, highlighting the defendant’s good qualities can prove very invaluable to the defendant and help the court to settle the matter faster. The ruling can greatly be influenced by a strong character reference. In just legal battles, it is of utmost importance to prove the defendant's moral fiber and stress of the good qualities and character of the defendant. This reference becomes vital and using the right template and conventions, make the reference letter more effective and hence more important.

Another scenario in which character letter prove very useful is in case of immigration. A character reference can prove invaluable to the immigrant in question as the court will rule mostly in favor of moral and sincere people who will uphold law and order in the country of immigration.

This article describes, with examples, in a very detailed manner about how to go about writing a character reference.  It highlights the templates which can be used and describes the formats and provides an example of these letters.

Character Reference Letter Format

As in any formal letter, there is a specific recommendation and template which can be used while writing a reference letter. The first three lines must be in the topmost left corner of the letter. It must contain your full name followed by your address. Supplying your details first lends more credibility to this letter and can be used for reference if the receiver has any follow up questions. Care must be taken to give the exact details as fake or improper credentials, and personal details ruin the purpose of having a  letter in the first place.

This must be followed below, also in the left-hand side, preferably the current date or the date at which the letter was written.

After that comes the Subject. This is one of the vital parts of the whole letter as the people reading this letter are usually officials who are busy and who prefer to read crisp and to the point letters instead of verbose and long-winded ones. The subject of the letter must be written in a concise and clear manner, which must effectively communicate the message or the intent of the entire letter.

How to write a character reference letter:

Ensure that a little context is provided. How do you know the person whose character you are describing? This information should come first and is vital to the people reading. The closer the association, the stronger is the character reference. Explanation on why you feel the need to write a character reference is good to have addition and can set the context for the rest of the letter.

After the above, which is ideally written in the first part, the second part must contain the body of the character reference. The content must be such that it gives the individual for whom the reference is written a clean chit in terms of intentions and actions. It must emphasize the positive aspects of the individual’s character and must give him a higher moral ground in the mind of the individual reading the reference. It will extol his/her virtues and must especially bring to light the attributes which might lend more favor to the individual in that particular scenario.

The conclusion must be to assure that your statements are true and to invite for a follow-up discussion if required to answer more queries or clear doubts which exist in the minds of the targeted audience.

 

Standard Character Reference Letter

From,
Lawrence Moreno
935-9940 Tortor. Street
Santa Rosa MN 98804
(684) 579-1879
abcsd.xyz@gmail.com

07-09-2000

To,
Nyssa Vazquez
511-5762 At Rd.
Chelsea MI 67708

Subject: (***********************)

Dear Admissions Committee,

Respected Sir,

I have known Robert for more than eight years, both as a good friend and as a neighbor. I was very surprised and troubled to hear about the recent case, and I feel obligated as a well-wisher and friend to write this letter as he is a good and solid person at heart, known for his selfless acts and proactive and helpful nature in our apartment community. I hope the court will take my recommendation of his character into consideration before deciding on a ruling and show some leniency.
Robert has been a good friend and always been there for us in troubled times. When I had to take my son to emergency care, he watched my dog and sent flowers and soft toys to him. He cooked food for us so that we can concentrate on our son and was instrumental in bringing us back to normal after we came back home. He runs errands for old Miss Sandra whenever he can and is the person people in the apartment call if they are in some trouble. He was assisting my neighbor when he lost his job financially and always shoveled your snow when you are sick. He is never impulsive or rude but soft and gentle. His thoughtful nature and supportiveness have touched our lives in many ways.
While I am shocked that he was drunk while driving, I am sure he will take full responsibility for his actions and given a chance, he would never repeat it. When I reached out to him, he was very sorry for his actions. I sincerely hope you consider his character while sentencing him. He is a man of honor and a valuable member of our community.

Please reach out to me in case you have any questions. I am also available for cross-examination. I am a busy dentist, but I can always make time for Robert's case.

Yours Sincerely,
(Your SIgnature)
Lawrence Moreno

The above letter makes it clear that the defendant is an upstanding citizen and has, in a moment of weakness, committed the offense. It also declares a strong belief that he would never repeat the misdemeanor again and establishes the character of the defendant.

Character Reference Letter for court

Character reference for the court must extol the virtues of the individual. It must throw to light characteristics that will put the court in favor of the individual as everyone wishes to take the side of a decent and good citizen. Examples or brief instances where the individual demonstrated heroism, kindness, morality or positive leadership, especially in the face of adversity or emergency conditions can be highlighted as well.
The court will take into consideration, letters that are consistently written and are supplemented by facts and logic instead of emotional hyperbole. While we are appealing to the court, it must be a rational and a passionate one at the same time, and you must ensure that you maintain your credibility as a person giving the character reference. You can also state a ruling which you would prefer as it would make things simpler for the court.

Character Witness Letter

Character witness letters can be written to schools as character recommendations, to companies, for hiring candidates, to the parole office, to the government, to the court or the immigration service. First off, these letters must always start with your relationship to the candidate and make a strong case that you know the person very well. Then it must proceed to explain about his nature. It is generally better to get character references from upstanding people in society than friends and family. Examples of new ideal references are teachers, community leaders, high ranking government officials, coworkers, Church or religious heads.
Keep the below points in mind while writing a character reference:
Establish why exactly your opinion counts: All references, be it a court of a law, a housing board, parole board or college, the very first thing you must establish is who you are, what is your relationship with the person in questions and why your reader must believe your opinion.
Establish yourself as a good and impartial judge of character: Briefly convince the reader of the letter that you have been a keen observer of the individual’s character for a long period.
Tell incidents and facts: Explain clearly, how the person you are writing about, performs his tasks, interacts with other people, how he reacts in the time of crisis, how he handles day to day issues and his views on social issues. Emphasize noble traits such as consistency and willingness to follow the rules.
Always tell the truth: This is the most important rule of all. When you are giving a character reference, especially in the context of law enforcement issues or in matters of legal proceedings, it is very obvious that your subject is not perfect in the eyes of the person reading the letter. Do not try to deny that fact. Acknowledge it and then, to the best extent possible, give your reader a very realistic appraisal of the person and grounds for much better behavior in the future.

Below is a character reference temple which can be used for a friend while giving a recommendation. The friend in question is applying to a club. The sample name of the friend is Irene. The importance is to be given to her organization skills, helping tendencies and active participation in the community.

Sample Character Reference Letter For a Friend

From,
Hiroko Potter
P.O. Box 887 2508 Dolor. Av.
Muskegon KY 12482
(314) 244-6306
abcsd.xyz@gmail.com

07-09-2000

To,
Forrest Ray
191-103 Integer Rd.
Corona New Mexico 08219

Subject: (***********************)

Dear Forrest Ray,

It is with pleasure that I recommend my dear personal friend, Irene Norton, for membership in the Rotary Club. I have known Irene for twenty years now and can attest to her character and her compassion. As the founder of Irene’s Bake Shop and mother to two beautiful children who study in the public school system, Irene is an active member of the community. She would surely make a perfect addition to the Rotary Club and carry forth our mission to serve the community.
I first met Irene when her family shifted to the house in our lane. We quickly found that our paths crossed not only as neighbors, but also a parent in that same parent's teachers association. Our families have become close over the years, and we have worked together as volunteers for many neighborhood events, like the annual Halloween scavenger hunt and the New year block party. We have even conducted charity drives for the orphanage next week. Irene has never ceased to impress me with her commitment and passion to the betterment of our community. With her selfless nature and skill for organizing community events, Irene lives by our Club’s primary motto, “Service above the self.”
As the owner and manager of Irene’s Bake Shop, which is situated on the 7th Mulberry Street, she is well known in the area for passionate and friendly nature as much as she is known for her butter croissants. She supplies baked goods like cookies, desserts, and bread to local restaurants in the area and is known for her cakes. Irene also makes it a point to employ local students as part-time cashiers and helpers and makes regular donations to several causes and even sets up funds for disasters like the earthquake we had last year. Her contributions have uplifted many people in town. I think, joining the Rotary Club will allow her and enable her to continue her leadership and charity drives in the community further.
As a friend, Irene is a lovely person and a true friend. She is warm, reliable, and considerate, and my kids have spent many snowy days mixing cookie dough and learning how to decorate cakes in her kitchen. Irene has built her business from scratch and has worked hard to ensure its success. I think she deserves the success she has as a parent and as a local bakery owner. He works hard to get it and has the battle scars to prove it.
To summarise, Irene is a truly outstanding citizen with great commitment to the community. She brings with her enthusiasm and passion, and I am confident that she will continue to serve the town in the best way possible, as the newest Rotarian.

Please feel free to call me for further information. Thank you very much for your consideration.

Yours Sincerely,
(Signature)
Hiroko Potter
<Your address and phone number>

Character letters for employment in a company must be crisp and to the point. It must highlight the individual’s integrity, professionalism, and skill. It should praise the individual for difficult accomplishments and must talk highly but briefly about their character.

Below is a sample recommending a junior employee for a new position. The former employee’s name is Frank.

Character Letter of Recommendation

From,
Kyla Olsen
Ap #651-8679 Sodales Av.
Tamuning PA 10855
(654) 393-5734
abcsd.xyz@gmail.com

07-09-2000

To,
Calista Wise
7292 Dictum Av.
San Antonio MI 47096

Subject: Letter of recommendation for Frank Hardy

Dear Calista Wise,

As an administrative manager of the Music Instruments Corp., I would highly recommend Frank Hardy as an employee. I have known Frank for four years as his direct manager at Music Instruments. Frank has taken up a variety of roles, first as a receptionist, then as a cashier, then as a sale person, all in the short duration of four years. Frank was also responsible for providing office support, including complaints handling, scheduling appointments, creating advertisement brochures, flash campaigns and other office literature. He became adept at handling and understanding the intricate details of all the instruments we sold, and that helped him greatly during the advertisements and complaints handling. Not to mention that he was a stellar salesperson when he could be, with his detailed explanations and intuitive understanding of the customer's concerns and addressing them in the best way possible.
Frank has excellent communication skills apart from a great memory and a burning passion for learning new things. In addition to that, he is organized, meticulous, reliable and very computer literate. He can work independently and always gets the job done. He is also fast, flexible and willing to work on any projects with deadlines that are assigned to him. Frank is also very respectful and is a great person to work with because of his easy going and sharp nature

Frank will be a tremendous asset wherever he works, and he has my highest recommendation. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any further questions regarding his qualifications or his abilities.

Yours Sincerely,
<Signature>
Kyla Olsen
<Title, Organization>
<Phone number>

Character references to the immigration office are of utmost importance to the person applying for immigration proceeding or other associated immigration-related proceedings. A good character reference, highlighting the good characters and deeds of the person applying for immigration might tilt the immigration judge's verdict in favor as such testimonials provide a vital clue into the lives and character of the person in question. Work ethic, interaction with people, service to society are a few factors that can be considered.

Below is a sample letter for immigration purposes. Please hold a position of authority as well. This letter also requires to be signed and notarized. It can be divided into three parts, the introduction, paragraph, and the conclusion.

Good Moral Character Letter for Immigration Sample

07-09-2000

From,
Calista Wise
7292 Dictum Av.
San Antonio MI 47096

To,
The Honorable Judge

Subject: Regarding Sunil’s character testimonial

Dear Sir,

It has been a pleasure to have Sunil working as an employee in my furniture business for the past two years, and I would like to stress how loyal, hardworking and persistent this young man is when it comes to his work. His quickness to grasp the tools and techniques required to be a carpenter has enabled us almost to double our profits as he also introduces a process to ensure that we do not waste time or effort. He is now so highly skilled that he can become an independent consultant.
However, Sunil chose to stay faithful to my company by improving the business and even turned down a few offers from other agencies who were impressed by his efficiency. He has been attending community college in the night to learn about programming and artificial intelligence. He is passionate and invested in whatever he does and his aim to eventually develop an application to help predict natural disasters. We have had many deep and insightful conversations in the course of these two years, as he conveys what he learns in his classes. I am ashamed to admit that it’s usually him educating me and not the other way around. In recent months, it is him educating me about modern day businesses and not the other way around.

I think Sunil will be a model citizen and a great part of the community and I humbly request you to consider his application. Please let me know if you have any followup questions. I will make myself available to answer them.

Yours Sincerely,
(Your Signature)
Calista Wise

<Address and contact details.>

Below is a sample of a reference for a family member, a sister.

Character Letter for Court for a Family Member

From,
Theodore Lowe
Ap #867-859 Sit Rd.
Azusa New York 39531
(793) 151-6230
abcsd.xyz@gmail.com

07-09-2001

To,
Celeste Slater
606-3727 Ullamcorper. Street
Roseville NH 11523

Subject: (***********************)

Dear Sie,

I am honored to write a reference letter for my older sister, Jenny.

She is not only a great mother of two kids, a caring daughter, a good wife, and sister, she is also a passionate fitness freak and a great writer, who spends her free time doing yoga and doing some freelance writing.
Though only three years older than me, she has accomplished so much and is a source of inspiration to me. She was an honors student and has learned French, Spanish and Japanese. She used to spend her free time volunteering to teach people English to make themselves more employable.
She has volunteered for the UN peace corps and has traveled the world, making it a better place by helping people affected by disasters. Her humanitarian spirit and energy would make her an ideal candidate for the role of the translator at the UN. Kindly consider her application seriously as you would not find a more serious and passionate person who is also a perfect fit for the job

Sincerely,
(Signature)
Theodore Lowe
<Address>

Sample Character Reference Letter for a Mother

From,
Tamara Howe
3415 Lobortis. Avenue
Rocky Mount WA 48580
(655) 840-6139
abcsd.xyz@gmail.com

07-09-2000

To,
Keegan Blair
Ap #761-2515 Egestas. Rd.
Manitowoc TN 07528

Subject: (***********************)

RespectedKeegan Blair,

I am writing to give you a testimonial about my mother who wishes to care for children as a foster mom. My parents have three children, of which I am the oldest. The younger brother and sister are twins who are in high school. I have recently graduated from college and am working as a programmer in a software firm. My mother had us when she was very young. She was 22 and married with three kids.
Though that would tire out most people, she rose to the occasion and was a great mom, friend, and mentor to all of us. She planned our meals, took us to ballet and guitar classes, helped us with homework and made sure we grew up to be responsible and upstanding citizens of society. My mother loves cooking and volunteers to cook during gatherings at church. She is also a role model for the people in our community who often come to her for advice when they are struggling with a career and children. My mother loves having kids around. She is always babysitting for the neighbors, and her cousins and hence being a mom comes naturally to her.
Because my brother and sister will move to college next year, my mother is worried that she will not have anyone to take care of. We then decided as a family to go in as a foster family as that would not only help the kids have a good education, food, and care but also it would help us by caring for and nurturing them before they are prepared to face the world.

I hope you will consider her application seriously and approve hers and my father’s application to be foster parents. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks and Regards,
Tamara Howe
(Your Original Signature Here)

Character Reference Letter for Coworker

From,
Keaton Underwood
Ap #636-8082 Arcu Avenue
Thiensville Maryland 19587
(564) 908-6970
abcsd.xyz@gmail.com

07-09-2000

To,
Nasim Strong
Ap #630-3889 Nulla. Street
Watervliet Oklahoma 70863

Subject: (***********************)

Dear Sir

This is a testimonial for Bud who has been my colleague for over a decade. We joined the same auditing firm ten years ago. At first, I used to find him too extroverted and talkative, but as time passed, I realized what a special person he is. He drives the team to perform in the best possible manner by always encouraging and enabling everyone in the room. His outgoing nature and friendly banter make him easily approachable and a great person to work with. But the best character trait he has is his problem-solving ability.
He can approach any problem with a clear mind and introduce small changes in the process of understanding the problem and the big picture, which goes a long way while finding a proper solution. His projects as always delivered on time, if not earlier and he is an asset to any team he goes to. Not surprisingly, this enabled him to climb up the corporate ladder rather quickly, but that has never changed his attitude towards life and work.

I strongly recommend you hire him, as he will turnaround any problematic project and bring any tough task to completion. Please feel free to contact me if you have any more details.

Thanks and Regards,
(Signature)
Keaton Underwood

Sample Character Reference Letter for Student

From,
Keaton Underwood
Ap #636-8082 Arcu Avenue
Thiensville Maryland 19587
(564) 908-6970
abcsd.xyz@gmail.com

07-09-2000

To,
Nasim Strong
Ap #630-3889 Nulla. Street
Watervliet Oklahoma 70863

Subject: (***********************)

Dear Nasim Strong,

This letter is about your character testimonial request for Anne. I am delighted to inform you that Anne is an excellent student whose performance in my courses have been outstanding. Anne has taken five different courses throughout university stay with me, and every interaction I have had with her has been refreshing and stimulating. I was also an academic advisor for Anne in this period, so I can say with confidence that I have a firm grasp on Anne’s personality and work habits. I hope that my testimonial of the same will enable her to gain employment within your company.
Anne has shown herself to be a talented, intelligent and thoughtful individual. She would be an invaluable asset to your organization, as she was an asset in my classrooms. Anne was an active participant in all the classroom discussions, assignments and activities. Her grades and submissions were excellent. She was adept at enabling discussions in small groups of peers. She also fostered enthusiasm and interest in the minds of all students in the classroom.
Anne has also worked with volunteer organizations outside the school. She has proven herself to be kind, hardworking and sharp individual and I am sure she will perform to the best of her ability and exceed your expectation if you decide to hire her.

Sincerely,
Keaton Underwood
(Your Signature)

Sample Professional Reference Letter For Nurses

Dear Sir/Madam

It is with great happiness that I endorse Claire as the next clinical nurse at Lennox Hill Hospital. I worked with Claire for Five years, and I can tell you with confidence that she has a big sense of accountability and dedication to her work and her patients. She now wishes to try a different department and touch more lives and hence, I endorse her to you.
As a nurse, Claire shows respect and professionalism that makes her loved and respected by per patients and the doctors alike. She is entrusted with the most difficult cases, and she executes it effortlessly
If you require more information, please contact me.

Sincerely Yours,
<Doctor Name and Hospital>
<Contact Details>

Characters Reference Letter Template in PDF and Word (doc.) Format

Character Reference Letter for Student

PDF | WORD

Character Reference Letter for Coworker

PDF | WORD

character reference letter for a mother

PDF | WORD

Character Letter of Recommendation

PDF | WORD

Characters Reference Letter Template in PDF Format

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  4. PDF Template 4

Characters Reference Letter Template in Word [Doc.] Format

  1. Word [Doc.] Template 1
  2. Word [Doc.] Template 2
  3. Word [Doc.] Template 3
  4. Word [Doc.] Template 4

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