22+ Free Character Reference Letters for a Friend (+Examples)

character reference letter

A character reference letter for a friend is a reference document that you can write to boost your friend’s application for a job position and admission to a school. You should only write a personal letter of recommendation for a friend who is well known to you.

What is a character reference letter?

A character reference letter is a written document describing your personality, integrity, and skills provided by someone who knows you personally and can describe your character and abilities. It is also known as a personal reference letter or personal recommendation letter.

What is a reference letter for a friend?


A reference letter for a friend describes a candidate’s academic and/or employment skills. Also, it demonstrates their character and individual attributes. Keep the following criteria in mind if you are required to submit a personal reference or asked to write a reference letter for a friend;

  • A current employer shouldn’t be a reference provider. A former employer can be acceptable if with the candidate he has a non-professional friendship or some type of personal connection.
  • Extended family members, close friends, teachers, community leaders, neighbors, coaches, etc. are suitable referees for personal reference.
  • Family members that aren’t too close to the candidate allowed to write personal reference letters.

When is a character reference letter required?

A character reference letter is required in different situations. This letter may be required for a background check or for a court case. In such a scenario, this letter is used to give proof that the person you’re writing the letter about is a good and innocent person. You may also write a character reference letter for a friend who is applying for a job. In this case, your friend doesn’t have much work experience, therefore, he/she needs references in order to apply for a job. In addition, this letter may also be required by some clubs, programs, or schools.


Which people you have to choose to write a reference letter?

If you want someone to write a reference letter for you then choose a good person. The person maybe anyone who knows about your best characteristics. Here is the list of some persons who will make the best letter for you;

  • An academic teacher or professor
  • A business colleague
  • Close friends
  • A good neighbor
  • A close fellow
  • Your club coach and any person who knows you very well.

You shouldn’t choose someone whom you have direct personal relations because the references from such persons will not be considered authentic.

When can you write reference letter to your friend?

Under different conditions, you can write a personal letter of recommendation for your friend. Here are the conditions that require a personal recommendation letter for a friend;


For court

In a child custody case or DUI occurrence, you can write a personal recommendation letter. This type of letter states your friend’s moral or mental qualities to a judge. In other courtroom sceneries that includes criminal proceedings or appeal cases, you can also write this type of recommendation letter.

For Immigration

This type of reference letter can also be used to boost your friend’s immigration application. The main purpose of this letter is to provide a positive perception of your friend by highlighting his/her positive traits.


What should a character reference letter include?

A character reference letter includes the following information;

  • Firstly, state your relation with a person, a small paragraph about yourself, and how long you have known him.
  • Then, state the reason why are you writing this letter.
  • State the person’s characters in the next 1-2 paragraphs. Mentions his qualities and skills that may you think to help him to stand out in the respective field. You can also mention the goals that he has achieved, the volunteering he has done, and all his good deeds. Support each claim about a person with certain examples.
  • In the end, provide your complete name and contact details at the bottom.

How to begin the recommendation?

In order to make your letter credible, you should specify how you met the person, how long you have known each other, and what opportunities you had to assess the kind of person they are. Here, you have to share some of the positive qualities that would make the candidate as asset to the position they’re interested. Take time and think about it if you want to become sincere, specific, and helpful for demonstrating your friend’s strengths.

What to say in a recommendation letter for a friend?

Specific anecdotes can be helpful in describing your friend. But, you have to be concise and summarize the most important points. You have to paint a picture of this that will be revealing than their resume. Recommendation letters are essential as they can assist in distinguishing among multiple people who have same qualities. Ask yourself the following questions;

  • What are the best qualities of my friend that will help them in this role?
  • Do you know this individual to be responsible?
  • Is he has any skills or qualities that makes them stand out?
  • Are there any examples of when my friend has helped others?

You should think about different possibilities and then try to write some different ideas. Expand your ideas and then select two or three according to the focus of your letter.

How to make a strong recommendation letter for a friend?

It isn’t compulsory that you are a professional writer to write a good recommendation letter. The things that matter are proofreading and writing clearly. Your letter should indicate that you took the time and effort to write something thoughtful. So, it should speak well regarding you and your friend. In order to present a strong case for why he or she is a good candidate, the qualities you mention should relate to the position your friend is applying for.

You must add your phone number to the letter and motivate them to call in case they have any questions. This makes your letter stronger and more credible although they may not actually call. This indicates that you really want to support your friend.

How to write a character reference letter?

Consider the following steps to write a character reference letter;

Ensure that you are qualified


You have to be confident in your relationship with the applicant before you agree to write the letter. You must know them well. You should be more qualified to speak on some subjects than others on the basis of the nature of your relationship with your friend. If you know your friend for a long time then share how their character has improved over the years.

Know your audience

Ask your friend to whom they will submit the character reference letter. After knowing your audience, you can write your letter accordingly. You can explain their work ethic, moral values, and positive attitude in case they are applying to medical school.

Be honest

Remaining both positive and objective is one of the most difficult parts of writing a character reference. Recommending your friend as a person of admirable character is your primary purpose. You don’t have to leave a bad impression of your friend.

It would be better to recall particular instances where you witnessed specific aspects of your friend’s character in order to make sure honesty.

Make it easy to read

The hiring managers will have to read dozens of character references. Thus, they have the capability to scan letters to find the information they need. Your letter should be concise and well-structured in order to communicate your message clearly. If you don’t have a specific name, then start addressing your letter “To Whom It May Concern.”

After that, write the body of the letter. Make sure your paragraphs should be focused, short, and informational. Your hiring manager will definitely appreciate and remember your letter if it is easy and enjoyable to read.


Invite further contact

You will need an effective conclusion after writing the body of the letter. Give your employer an open invitation to contact you with further questions. Also, mention your phone number and email address. Sign the letter by hand if it is on paper. In the case of an email, make use of your professional email signature.

How can you write a reference letter for friend?

You can write an effective reference letter for your friend by considering the following steps;

  • If you can provide a quality reference and you feel that you can write a genuine and enthusiastic letter with specific reasons for your friend then accept his request.
  • Ask from your friend about what technical skills and attributes are necessary for the job or for which purpose he needs a character reference letter.
  • And then discuss with your friend about his career path and professional goals and what professional plans he is made over the next 5 or 10 years.
  • At the starting of a letter briefly mention that how long you have known each other, where you met for the first time, and the bonding of your friendship.
  • In the body of a letter, state the abilities and attributes of your friend with specific examples.
  • Frame the reference letter around your friend’s success to convey constant improvement and by mentioning the level where your friend started when you first met.
  • In the end, provide your full name and contact information.

What to include and what not to include in a reference letter?

Include the following things in the personal recommendation letter;

  • Pay attention to the particular job: you should ensure to ask your friend for the details on the job that they are applying for. That way, you will become able to pay attention to the particular requirements of the position.
  • Describe how you know the person: you should make sure to describe in the letter how you know the person properly as well as explain for how long you have known him/her.
  • Include particular examples: provide specific examples while writing the letter in order to help bring out the applicant’s positive side.
  • Remain positive: you must specify that you believe they are the perfect candidate for the position. At the beginning and at the end of the letter, explain both.

Avoid the following while writing a personal recommendation letter for a friend;

  • Suppose that you already know about the job: never suppose that you already know regarding the position they are applying for. It is wrong to assume that you know about the position that they are applying for is wrong.
  • You are writing a letter for someone you don’t know well: it is also not right to write a letter for someone you don’t know very well or someone you don’t want to write to as this may cost them their job.
  • Giving lots of compliments but no specifics: you shouldn’t write a letter for a person you don’t know well enough to provide specifics about them.
  • Being untrue: you are basically making promises they can’t keep when you set high the skills of the person you are writing for. If you write anything untrue, this may lead to set them up for failure.


Lastly, reference letter by saying thanks to the person reading it. Thanks and regards for their time and offering to answer any extra queries. Also, include your full name and information at the end of the letter.

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