Writing a professional character reference letter is an honor, but it is also a big responsibility. Your letter will have a direct impact on how hiring managers view your former employee or associate. If your letter is poorly crafted, it could cause a hiring manager to decide not to employ the person you are recommending.If you’re feeling overwhelmed or nervous about writing a standout recommendation letter, don’t worry. There are tools available to help you succeed in making a great impression. Our character reference letter templates and writing tips give you examples of how a winning character reference letter should look. Use our templates as a guide to help you create a letter that will paint your associate in the best possible light.
Character Reference Letter Template
Below is a character reference letter written by Sherry Dalton. Sherry is the purchasing manager at a successful clothing company. She wrote the letter in response to a previous employee’s request. Review the letter to see how Sherry uses professional wording and specific details to help her associate land a job in the fashion industry.
I am honored to write this character reference for Danica Eastman, on behalf of her application to your fashion designer role.
As the purchasing manager at Swagger and Style Clothing Boutique, I had the pleasure of having Danica as one of my employees for four years. During that time, she exhibited an impressive understanding of the fashion industry and purchasing trends. She consistently exceeded my expectations for performance, motivation, and raw talent. She is a dedicated professional who takes pride in getting great results.
During her employment at the boutique, Danica made several key changes. She overhauled our purchasing procedures and selected a greater variety of clothing styles to display in our store. As a result of her purchasing and marketing decisions, sales increased by an average of 10% each year during her four years of employment.
Danica exemplifies honesty, a strong work ethic, and goal-driven results. She was a joy to work with and contributed to a positive and energetic work environment. I am confident she will show the same level of professionalism and commitment to any future employer that she showed to me.
Please feel free to contact me with any further questions about Danica’s employment at Swagger and Style Clothing Boutique. I would love to provide more details about her employment and expand on my recommendation.
How To Write a Character Reference Letter
The purpose of a character reference letter is to positively influence a hiring manager’s decision by vouching for a jobseeker’s character. The hiring manager does not know the applicant on a personal basis, so it is your job to help him or her understand the applicant’s most notable skills, strengths, and traits.
When crafting your letter, keep your audience in mind. Use wording that appeals to the letter’s intended recipient. For example, if your associate plans to present the letter to a hiring manager in the healthcare industry, mention skills that are valuable for healthcare professionals. You might choose to talk about the candidate’s compassion, ability to work under pressure, or personable demeanor. If your associate is seeking a job in purchasing, mention his or her organizational and financial skills. You could also relate a specific instance when he or she saved the company money by discovering a more affordable source of raw materials.
Talk to your associate to find out what skills, traits, or accomplishments he or she wants you to emphasize. Learn more about the position he or she is applying for so you can tailor your reference letter to it.
Throughout your letter, use strong, professional wording that positions you as an expert in your industry. The more reputable you can make yourself seem, the more weight your reference letter will hold. End on a strong note by expressing your confidence in the jobseeker’s ability to perform the new job well. Refer to our character reference letter template for guidance when building your document.
What To Avoid in Your Character Reference Letter
When writing a character reference letter, the biggest mistake you can make is seeming insincere or uninterested. At the same time, you should avoid sounding too salesy when talking about your associate’s attributes and past work experience. Remember, you could have a huge impact on whether the person you are recommending gets the job. You have to make yourself seem professional and reputable before you can do the same for your associate. To achieve this goal, use convincing, confident language appropriate for authority.
Never settle for a generic, lazy letter. You can avoid coming across as insincere by relating specific instances when the associate you are recommending met or exceeded your expectations. Make mention of work accomplishments and performance, but don’t forget to talk about character as well. Focus on the applicant’s best attributes as they relate to the job at hand. Express your total confidence in the jobseeker’s abilities and skills. Make it personable, professional, and impressive.
How To Follow Up After Sending Your Character Reference Letter
After you write a character reference letter, your role in the jobseeker’s hiring process is most likely over. There is no need for you to follow up with the potential employer. From this point on, it is up to your associate to pursue the opportunity and find out whether he or she is being considered for the position.
However, the employer may call or email you to learn more about the job candidate. If this happens, be willing to discuss your associate’s skills, characteristics and attributes in greater detail. If possible, think of at least one quantifiable achievement he or she made while under your employ.
Top 5 Character Reference Letter Writing Takeaways
1. Be sincere
A potential hiring manager can tell if you are being sincere or fake by the language you use in your character reference letter. Be specific about achievements your associate made while in your employ, and be genuine when discussing the value he or she brought to your business.
2. Be respectable
Your opinion won’t matter much to a hiring manager unless you come across as a respectable authority in your field. Make sure your grammar is on point and your language is professional without being overly stiff or formal. Mention your job title to give your opinion some merit.
3. Tailor your wording to the job
Before you write a character reference letter, ask the jobseeker what job he or she is applying for. Once you know this vital piece of information, you can tailor your letter to the specific job by mentioning the jobseeker’s relevant skills.
4. Be complimentary
Your associate trusted you to write a character reference letter, so don’t use this opportunity to mention his or her negative characteristics or annoying habits. Focus on the positive and be complimentary.
5. Welcome further inquiries
Close your letter in a warm and welcoming manner by inviting further inquiries. The potential employer most likely won’t call you, but at least he or she will know the option is available.