Job Interview

How to Write A Character Reference Letter

When applying for a job, one thing that is often requested from candidates is references. These are letters from previous employers, co-workers, or classmates who have worked with the candidate. The letters are meant to give an idea of what the worker is like and whether they would fit the business. A lot of rides on creating a good letter so it is best for you to know what to add and avoid when writing a character reference letter.

Give A Basic Relationship with the Candidate

When crafting a character reference letter, it’s best to begin by explaining your relationship with the candidate. Tell the employer how you know them, from where, and if you have worked with them before. Define this relationship whether it be through work, academic, community service, or personal connections.

Explain how long you’ve known them, and what projects you’ve worked on, and provide links if possible to these works. Keep this section concise as the employers want to know your relationship with them. This sets the stage for the reader to understand the basis of your perspective on the individual’s character and abilities.

Explain Your Work History With Them

If your relationship with the candidate is primarily based on work experience, provide an overview of how these went down. Start by outlining the roles and responsibilities you and the candidate shared within the workplace, the projects or achievements you collaborated on, and where you worked.

Emphasize the duration and nature of your working relationship to explain the candidate’s work ethic, skills, and contributions to the team or organization. Keep these in broad strokes and only mention specific situations if they are relevant.

Highlight Different Qualities They’ve Shown

Aside from their actions and tasks, mention the attitudes and behavior that the candidate shows. These are things the employer will also want to know. So after explaining your working relationship, you should highlight the qualities they displayed during your working relationship.

Whether it’s their strong work ethic, effective communication skills, leadership abilities, problem-solving capabilities, etc. These should be followed with concrete examples that show these qualities in action. These provide insight and back up your claims.

Keep Things Professional

When writing a character reference letter, always focus only on your working relationship. The employers don’t care about their personal life and that is not what they are after. Even if you have information about it, leave that out.

By limiting your discussion to professional aspects, the letter will appear shorter and the message clear and more powerful. It also makes your words seem more credible as you are not letting personal knowledge get the better of you.

Always Stay Objective

When writing a character reference letter, you must remain objective. While it’s natural to have positive sentiments toward a friend, you are not speaking as a friend, but a coworker and the employers expect you to behave that way.

Only focus on factual information that supports your claims and never use opinions or emotional appeals, as they may undermine credibility. By staying objective, you demonstrate your integrity as a reference. Present a balanced perspective that highlights the candidate’s strengths and areas for improvement while refraining from overly embellishing or exaggerating their qualities.

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