A reference letter is a formal letter written by a human resource manager or a supervisor for an employee, for attestation of his/her skills, profound knowledge, character, and professional conduct. The letter could be written upon request of the employee or is shared when the employee’s contract is terminated or he/she moves for another opportunity. It serves as a professional way to testify the credibility of an employee by the employer.
A reference letter could be issued for professional conduct, character, or both. The letter for professional conduct differs from the latter in a way that it assesses the employee’s work ethics, expertise acquired, experience duration, and delivery of required objectives. Whereas, the character reference letter validates the abilities, traits, and personality of the employee as an individual.
An employee might require a character reference letter while applying for higher education or completing an application process of a potential employer. Before getting the character reference letter written, the employee should consider the following questions:
- Does the authority, requested to write the letter, know the employee well enough to testify his/her character?
- Does the authority, requested to write the letter, hold a positive impression for the employee?
- Has the employer been informed about the subject in question, for which the letter is required?
- Does the employer have required information about the addressee?
An employer, on the other hand, should assess whether he/she can write the letter with a positive tone. The request to write the character reference letter should be only accepted by the employer when he/she can vouch for the employee’s high character and admirable traits.
A well-written reference letter does not necessarily guarantee employment to the employee but it certainly strengthens his/her standing. While writing the character reference letter, the following guidelines can help an employer pave way for the employee:
- Providing a background of professional affiliation – the employer should mention how he/she knows the employee in a professional capacity, how long the employee has been working with him/her
- Attesting character – the body of the letter should comprise of the characteristic traits and abilities pertaining to the character and personality of the employee. It should be written with a positive impression by highlighting the employee’s key competencies which complement his/her character
- Adding recommendation – while writing a closing statement, recommending an employee to the potential employer based on his/her is a good way to sign off and leave a sense of positive relationship with the employee
Sample Character Reference Letter for an Employee
[Complete name of Recipient]
Dear Mr./Ms. [X],
I, [Sender’s name], [Sender’s designation and organization], am pleased to write a character reference for XYZ.
XYZ has been working in my team, at KML Company, for the past three years as a Fundraising Officer. He is a passionate, determined, and organized individual.
XYZ has been credited for building rapport with others, as evident from his success at KLM Company. Besides having strong interpersonal communication skills, XYZ has profound knowledge, motivational spark, and storytelling skills for not only driving encouragement within the team but also among the stakeholders XYZ works with. He is a self-motivated, foresighted, and an efficient learner, which has made him yield leveraged results for our company.
XYZ has been always innovative, creative, and insightful when it comes to restructuring and revamping the campaigns for the department. Not only does he lead the team, but he also values teamwork. His approach to acknowledging the work of the team compliments his generosity.
I would certainly recommend XYZ to your company for the role of Corporate Partnerships and Fundraising Coordinator. He will be a valuable addition to your team.
For any further information, you may reach out to me.
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