Generally, a character reference letter provides an employer or an entity with an account of a third part of the personal attributes of a candidate and their character traits. While curriculum vitae or resumes provide highlights of the professional qualifications of a person, a character or personal reference letter mainly focuses on the traits or characters that help persons perform to their best ability in a job. Students, apartment hunters, and even job candidates may be required to provide a character reference letter to their would-be program, landlord, or employer.
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This article entails a detailed explanation of how to write a character reference letter and how to select a suitable person to provide you with a character reference letter.
What Is a Character Reference Letter?
A character reference letter is also referred to as a personal reference letter. It is a letter drafted by a contact of a candidate applying for a job and issued to the employers as a declaration of the personal qualities of the candidate.
Generally, the letter is written by a person who has not worked with the candidate in a professional set-up but has the capacity to talk about the qualities and character of the candidate. As a result, the employer gets a sense of the candidate’s traits and personalities and thus, helps them to understand if the candidate is the best fit or a better fit for the organization.
How To Write a Character Reference Letter
If it ever happens that someone asks you to issue a character or personal reference letter, you should only accept the request if you know the individual well enough to speak on their behalf. Also, it is vital that you speak positively, especially of the candidate is looking for a job.
The following are the elements of a character reference letter:
- First, clearly state your relationship with the individual requesting the character reference letter and mention the duration you have known each other.
- Secondly, the body of the letter. Remember that when writing a character reference letter, you should always focus on the positive traits that will show the traits of the person and make them suitable for the job or situation at hand. Make the person stand out.
- Third, ensure that you provide sufficient support to each claim you make concerning the individual with precise life examples.
- Lastly, at the end of the letter, provide reliable contact information that you are comfortable sharing with the employer. Remember that every aspect of the letter is also a huge reflection on who you are as an individual and directly impacts the individual you are talking about. Make sure that you carefully edit the letter to ensure you have used to right language, grammar, and punctuation marks.
Tips For Writing a Character Reference Letter
You should think critically before you say yes to writing a character reference letter. You need to be positive and honest, and in case you cannot, it is wise to say no.
If you say yes, the following are some of the vital tips for writing a character reference letter:
Ø Be Precise or Specific
In the letter, ensure that you focus on two or three abilities or qualities of the person that make then the best fit for the school or job.
Ø Request For Information
If you say yes to writing the letter, ensure that you have all the essential information you require. First, you must make sure that you know what the letter is for (could be for college, or job application), how it will be submitted, and the due date. Additionally, you can ask the person if they have any document or resume that contains their experience and skills that you can use while writing the letter.
Ø Research The Position/School
Go through the school website to know more about the school and the kind of students they enroll, if it is a job, carefully research on the position and know the ideal candidate they are looking for. When you have this information, provide an elaborate and suitable example that makes the person the best fit. Talk about the qualities and skills that the school or employer is looking for.
Ø Business Letter Format
Use business letter format if you are sending the letter via mail. Make sure that you include the employer or school contact information at the top, as well as your contact information. If handwritten, ensure that you conclude with your handwritten signature, and if you type, conclude with your typed signature. However, you should note that when sending the character reference letter via e-mail, you are not restricted to using the format.
Ø Edit And Proofread the Letter
After you have finished the letter, ensure that you edit the letter to confirm the grammar, and proofread to eliminate any punctuation errors and contextual errors. It is better if you get a different person to proofread the work since it is likely to miss some errors after writing.
Note that the letter should be thorough and short. You should have at least three paragraphs or at most five paragraphs, and certainly, the letter should not be more than one page.
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