How to write a character reference letter?


Before you attempt to write a character reference letter be sure to think carefully about what you will say, these letters can have a significant influence on other people. Above all, be honest about the person.

Many people will only write a character reference letter when they can speak positively about a person, however, if you are asked to write a reference letter about someone who was not that good, don’t lie! Why? Because in some places, people will hold you responsible for the actions of the person being referred, whether they are good or bad.

To begin a character reference letter, state who you are, which company you are from and what your job role is. Most often this has a direct relation to the person you are writing about, so include the working relationship you had with the person, were they an employee or a work colleague?

Next, include the details of your contact with that person, how long were you working together, or have known them.

  • What is your opinion of them?
  • What are some of their outstanding skills?
  • Give some reason/s to back up your claims, perhaps an example of their work.

A reference letter should not be longer than a page and only needs to be a few paragraphs long.

At the end include your contact details and an invitation to be contacted should the receiver of the letter require more detailed information about the person under consideration.

Here is a very brief example.


Jane Doe

Vice President of the Board of Directors.

ABC Enterprises.

Chicago, Illinois USA


Regarding:          Julie O’Connor

Character Reference.


To whom it may concern,

Miss O’Connor has worked as my Personal Assistant for the last two years since may 2015.

In that time, I found her to be punctual and organized. She handled most of my business travel arrangements and daily scheduling.

During the two years with us at ABC Enterprises, she was highly respected by her colleagues and most trustworthy, keeping confidential business matters to herself, such as the highly publicized merger of our company last year.

I believe that she will be a valuable asset to any company that sees fit to hire her.

If you would like any further information, I am available on the number below and can be reached during office hours, Monday through Saturday.



Jane Doe

VP of the Board of Directors

123 456 7899

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