How to Compose a Sample Character Reference Letter

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Some employers, such as a law enforcement agency or school, may seek a character reference letter before making a new hire. You may also be asked to write one for a court case. If you've been asked to write such a letter, you'll want to think of specific memories you have of the person to help bolster your letter. Once you have thought of a few examples of ways in which this person's character has shined, crafting the letter is a breeze.

Put the date in the upper-right hand corner.

Address the letter, "To Whom It May Concern," unless you know who will be reading this letter. In that case, address it to them, using formal titles.

Indicate at the beginning of the letter the capacity in which you know the individual for whom you are providing a reference.

Include information about how long you have known the person.

Reference any special knowledge, skill sets or noticeable abilities the person you are writing about has displayed. Use specific examples.

Indicate how you view the person you are writing about personally. Reference to specific traits you admire about this person and why.

Give specific accounts of accomplishments, including any charitable deeds or awards.

If you want, you can provide a statement at the end of your letter indicating you are happy to answer additional character questions, and give your contact number and email. Only do this if you are comfortable handing out your information.

Sign the letter.


Avoid personal opinion and bias as much as possible. Use specific stories or facts to bolster the references.

Be specific with dates and performance attributes provided in your letter of character reference.



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