This final recommendation letter example represents a character reference. A character reference might come from a friend, neighbor, or even relative. It tends to be more personal than professional and speaks to the subject's personality and character.
Some jobs ask for a character reference, but there are other circumstances that call for one, too. In the below letter, the writer is recommending her neighbor and close friend for a place in their local Rotary Club, an organization dedicated to community service.
Sample Letter #9: Written by a Friend as a Character Reference
Rotary Club President
60 Main St.
Midtown, NH 03031
Dear Mr. Friedman,
It’s my pleasure to recommend my neighbor and dear personal friend, Rosa, for membership in the Rotary Club. I’ve known Rosa for almost a decade and can attest to her strength of character and compassion for others. As the owner of Rosa’s Bake Shop and parent to two children in the public school system, Rosa is an actively contributing member of the community. She would make an outstanding addition to the Rotary Club and embody our mission to provide service to others.
I first met Rosa when she and her family moved into the house next door. We quickly found our paths crossing not just as neighbors, but also as fellow parents involved in the PTA. We and our families have become close friends, and over the years, we’ve worked together on a number of neighborhood events, like the Halloween scavenger hunt and annual block party. Rosa has always amazed me with her commitment to our community. With her spirit of giving and skill for community organizing, Rosa lives by Rotary Club’s primary motto, “Service above self.”
As many of you know, Rosa’s an active business leader in our community as the owner of Rosa’s Bake Shop on Main Street. She spreads joy with her fresh baked goods and supplies bread to many local restaurants. Rosa has also employed local students as cashiers and donates a portion of her profits to the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Her contributions (and cakes) nurture many people in town. Joining the Rotary Club would allow her to continue her leadership in the community.
On a more personal level, Rosa is a cherished friend and all around lovely person. She’s thoughtful, reliable, and warm, and my kids and I have spent many rainy days mixing up cookie dough and decorating cupcakes in her kitchen. Rosa has worked hard to get where she is today, and she truly deserves all the success that has come her way as a parent and local business owner.
Rosa is an outstanding and active citizen with a great commitment to community service. I look forward to seeing all the good that she will continue to do in town as our newest Rotarian. Please feel free to contact me for any further information. Thank you for your consideration.
As a local baker, Rosa probably doesn't even need a recommendation letter to show how awesome she is (unless sending cupcakes instead is seen as a form of bribery?).
Recommendation Letter #9: The Breakdown
This recommendation letter sample represents a specific type, that of a character reference. A character reference may come from a friend, neighbor, relative, or other person close to the recommendee. While some jobs ask for character references, other circumstances when they might be called for include a nomination to a community position, as in the above example, buying a house or condo, or even for use in court.
Character references tend to be much more personal than a typical professional letter. If you’re asked to provide a character reference, you can describe the person’s personal qualities and character. Just as with any other letter, you should strive to give specific examples to back up your characterization of the subject of your letter.
In the above sample, Lara Turner attests to the strong character of her friend and neighbor, Rosa, so that she can join the local Rotary Club. Lara talks about her close relationship with Rosa and describes some of Rosa’s personal strengths. Since Rotary Club is dedicated to community service, Lara focuses especially on Rosa’s contributions to the community as a local business owner, PTA volunteer, and active event organizer in their neighborhood.
She states her support and gives specific examples to back up her words. Overall, her letter stands as a strong statement of support for Rosa and fulfills its purpose as a character reference for Rosa’s admission into Rotary Club.
Are you looking for a more professionally-oriented letter of recommendation example? Check out this job reference sample written by a manager for a full-time employee.
Want to learn more? Head over to our full guide on recommendation letters for eight more samples, along with suggestions for how to write your reference.
Personal Recommendation Letter Samples
Have you been asked to write a recommendation letter? Writing a personal recommendation letter or character reference can be a challenge. After all, these letters are generally required for big life events, such as a new job, a home purchase, or admission to a program or school.
Personal recommendations and character reference letters can be written by teachers, neighbors, business acquaintances, clients, vendors, and other recommenders who can attest to an applicant's skills and abilities.
Recommendation letters should be tailored to both the person being recommended and to the position or responsibilities involved. Your letter should describe how you know the person and why you are recommending them. For help writing a meaningful letter, review the sample personal recommendation letters provided below for a variety of situations. Also review how to write a reference letter for a friend, if you're writing a personal letter.
How to Use Letter Samples
If you are writing a personal recommendation for someone, use these samples to guide your own writing. A letter sample can help you decide what kind of content you should include, as well as how to format your letter.
While letter samples are a great starting point for your own letter, you should always be flexible. You should tailor a letter to fit the particular person you are writing the letter for, incorporating the information he or she asks you to include.
If you are requesting a reference letter from someone, you might send a letter sample to the writer to help guide his or her own letter. However, be sure to provide the writer with clear instructions on what information you need them to include, and give them a resume or list of your skills and experiences.
You do not want them to simply copy and paste a sample letter.
Tips on Writing Personal Recommendation Letters
- Think carefully before saying yes. Only say you will write the recommendation if you can recommend the person without reservation. If you're asked to write a reference and don't feel comfortable giving one, it's appropriate to politely decline the request for a reference.
- Follow business letter format. Use the official business letter format when writing your letter. If time is of the essence, you might consider sending a recommendation email instead of a letter. Review this list of the information that should be included in a recommendation letter.
- Focus on the job description. Ask the person for whom you’re writing the letter for a copy of the job description. This way, you can focus on the requirements of the position. Try to include language from the job description in your letter. Even if you are writing a more general recommendation, you can still ask the person about the types of jobs they will be applying for.
- Explain how you know the person, and for how long. Begin your letter with this basic information. If you have known the person for a long time, be sure to emphasize this.
- Focus on one or two traits. In the body of your letter, focus on one or two qualities in this person that make him or her a good fit for the job. Provide specific examples of ways in which the person has demonstrated these various traits in the past.
- Remain positive. State that you think this person is a strong candidate. You might say something like, “I recommend this person without reservation.” You want to help this candidate stand out from the other applicants.
- Share your contact information. Provide a way for the employer to contact you if they have further questions. Include your email address, telephone number, or both at the end of the letter.
- Follow the submission guidelines. Ask the person for whom you’re writing the letter how to submit it. Make sure you follow any requirements, especially about where and when to send it and its requested format (for example, PDF, physical letter, etc.). If there is a submission deadline, be sure to submit it prior to the due date.
- Let the person know when you've submitted the reference. Once you've mailed, emailed, or uploaded your reference letter, let the person you're writing it for know that it's been submitted.
Asking someone else to write you a letter of recommendation? Review requesting a recommendation letter.
Personal Recommendation Letter Examples
The information included in a personal recommendation letter may vary greatly based on the reasons for the letter. Browse the letters below for examples of what to include in your letter and how to format it.
More About Recommendations
How to Write a Letter of Recommendation
Advice on how to write a letter of recommendation, including what to include in each section of the letter, how to send it, and sample letters of recommendation for employment and academics.
More Sample Recommendation Letters
Sample reference and recommendation letters, letter samples for character references, reference and recommendation letter templates, and sample letters asking for a reference.