What Is Character Reference? And Why We Need Them

It’s often an honor to be asked to write a character reference letter, maybe for a friend or just someone that you really value. 

But if it’s something you haven’t done before, it might be a bit tricky and you wouldn’t want to write a letter that wouldn’t carry enough prestige to get the person the position he/she is looking for. So, looking for how to write a really mind blowing character reference for someone special? Then this article is definitely for you so read every part carefully.

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What Is A Character Reference?

A character reference is also referred to as a personal reference and is a letter written by someone who knows a person very well and can speak sincerely about their character and abilities. This person writing for you can be a close friend or pal at school or work, or someone you relate very well with.

Why Are Character Reference Important?

  1. Character references give detailed information about the applicant. Most times, Just verifying that a candidate worked at a particular company in the past isn’t always enough. Character References give you more information and assurance than basic dates of employment.
  2. Character references help to show how consistent, diligent and productive the applicant has been in attendance and other key factors. For example, if your work ethics requires you to dress a certain way, you need to know if the Applicant has been consistent and if the applicant has had issues with proper dressing in the past.
  • Character references highlight a candidate’s personality. While most questions are very standard, talking to a direct supervisor or organizer who knows the Applicant personally gives you more accurate, sincere and unfiltered information.

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Key Things To Include In A Character Reference

include a few key elements in your letter like 

stating your relationship with the applicant, and how long you have known them.

The body of your letter should highlight more of the applicant’s strongest qualities or skills that you think will make them stand out in the application.

Try to support each claim you make about the person with a specific example.

At the end of the letter, provide any contact information that you feel comfortable sharing with the employer.

Be sure to go through your letter at least twice before sending it.

Note: Before Accepting to write a character reference for someone, be sure that you can write a positive and honest letter. If you cannot, it is better to say no; this will give the person the chance to ask someone who might write him or her a stronger reference letter.

It’s okay to say no to someone if you don’t feel confident enough to write for them, just tell them that you  don’t feel you’re qualified enough to write for them, and would want them to get the best. But if you decide to write for them, below are some tips;

  • Make sure you have all the information you need. Ensure that you know what the letter is for (whether it is for a particular job, a college application, etc.), how to submit it, and when it is due. You might also  want to ask the person if he or she has a resume or other document listing their skills and experiences that you can use to help write the letter.
  • Focus on talking about their strength and good qualities or abilities that make them a good fit for the job or school. Provide an example of a time the person demonstrated really impressive qualities.
  • Include your contact information so that the employer can reach you if they wish to ask further questions.
  • If you would be sending the letter by mail, ensure to use business letter format when writing your letter. Including the contact information of the employer at the top, the date, and your contact information.
    Conclude with a handwritten signature and your typed signature underneath. If you send an email reference letter, you do not have to use this format.
  • Ensure that before you send the letter, you have gone through it and done some editing and check that all words are correctly placed. You could even ask a friend or family member to read over the letter before you send it.

Note: your letter shouldn’t be too long but very thorough.Three to five paragraphs is enough and certainly no more than one page. 

Who to Ask for a Character Reference?

It’s in the name, “character reference” so you should definitely ask someone that knows you personally and has had history with you. Those kinds of people that write really good stuff about you and recommend you without reservations.

Neighbors, close pals, friends and acquaintances may be willing to write a reference for you. 

If you belong to a sports group, you could beckon to anyone that you relate well with to write for you.

If you belong to a church group? Ask your church group leader or coach to write a personal letter of reference for you. 

Note: Whoever you chose to ask, be sure to send a thank you note to them afterwards.  Be sure to emphasize how much you appreciate them taking the time to write you a reference.

When Do You Need a Character Reference?

  • For Job purposes: Some employers usually request for character references in addition to letters of reference from former employers. These references give employers a sense of your personality and abilities.
  • Students Applying for Admission: Most tertiary institutions usually request a character reference ,in order to get to know the applicant’s personality better.
  • Most people also use character references since they might be worried that their bosses will not write positive references. Sometimes a strong character reference can help make up for a weaker employer reference, or a lack of employer references.

So basically that’s all you need to know about character reference writing and procedures. To get more updates on subjects like this, don’t forget to bookmark this page and check back regularly for solid up to date detailed contents such as this.

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