Character Reference Letter Template and Examples

A character reference letter is written to show a person’s character. It is often drafted by someone who knows the subject well, such as a friend, family member, roommate, coworker, or employer. It can also be written by a landlord to recommend a tenant when moving to a new residence. In the letter, the writer emphasizes the subject’s attributes, work ethics, job experience. It offers a general reference to your skills without being specific to a certain job.

A well-written character reference can make you stand out at a job application. It can also increase your chances of success significantly. In this article, we review how to draft this important letter.

Tip: If you are looking for a character referee, you want to ask someone who can vouch for you. They should know you personally and be someone who can speak of your positive qualities. Once you find the ideal person, provide them with enough information to write a factual letter. Remember to send a thank-you note afterward.

Your letter can make or break the subject’s application. When drafting a character reference letter on behalf of someone:

  • Request all the necessary information
  • Emphasize on a few strong qualities that the subject has
  • Proofread to correct any grammar or spelling errors
  • Explain your relationship with the subject
  • Recommend the subject for the position they are seeking

Character Reference Format


{Recipient’s Name}

{Recipient’s Address}

{City, State, Zip Code}

RE: Character Reference for {Subject’s Name}

Dear {Mr./Ms./Mrs. Recipient’s Last Name},

I am writing in regard to {subject’s name}. {Subject’s name} has been my {nature of relationship} for {amount of time}. In that time, I have witnessed {his/her} {positive attributes}.

{Subject’s name} is a highly efficient and responsible person. {He/she} is well liked at {company/school/residence name} where {he/she} {works, lives, goes to school}.

I believe {he/she} will make an excellent {employee/student/tenant} and fully recommend them.

If you have further questions concerning {subject’s name}, please feel free to contact me at {email} or {phone number}.


{Your Name}

Sample Character Reference Letter

14 July 2020

Emily Hepburn

123 Main St.

5678 OH, Texas 34000

RE: Character Reference for Samuel Kinkaid

Dear Mrs. Hepburn

Please accept this letter as a character reference for Samuel Kinkaid regarding his tenancy application. Mr. Kinkaid has been my tenant for seven years since 23 June 2013. In that time, he has never missed a payment or mishandled my property. He is well-loved and respected by his neighbors.

Although I am sad to see him go, I fully recommend Mr. Kinkaid for tenancy at your property. Please contact me at (500) 345 234 23 or if you have any questions.


John Gregory

Hillwood Properties

Character Reference Letter Samples and Templates

You could be asked to write a reference letter for a friend, family member, employee, or tenant. This could prove tedious and time-consuming. Here are a template and sample to make the process easier.

Character Reference Letter for Court

This letter is presented to a court on behalf of the defendant. It attests to the good reputation and personality of the defendant and explains why the case should be drawn in their favor.
File Format
  • MS Word

Character Reference Letter for a Friend

This letter can be written for a friend seeking employment, tenancy, or citizenship. It introduces the subject as someone of good character.
File Format
  • MS Word

Character Reference Letter for Student

Also called an academic reference letter. It is written to help a student get a job, internship, or position in graduate school. It should emphasize how the student is best suited for the position being sought.
File Format
  • MS Word

Character Reference Letter for Immigration

This is a recommendation written on behalf of an immigration applicant. Its purpose is to convince the recipient of the subject’s positive characteristics and possible contributions to society.
File Format
  • MS Word

Character Reference Letter for Landlord

It is written to a potential landlord by a former landlord, neighbor, friend, or roommate. It states the good qualities of the subject regarding tenancy, such as tidiness, responsibility, and rent payment.
File Format
  • MS Word

Character Reference Letter for Coworker

This is a letter written on behalf of someone you work with to recommend them for a new job, tenancy, or to join a school. When drafting it, emphasize the coworker’s good qualities without exaggeration.
File Format
  • MS Word

Bottom Line

Although a character reference letter is a formal correspondence, it should have a personal touch to it. Mention how you know the subject and how long you have known each other. Also, emphasize their positive attributes, abilities, and skills. That said, don’t exaggerate. You want the letter to come off as factual and not emotionally-driven.