Character Reference Letter Sample for a Work Colleague


Have you been asked by a coworker or employee to provide a character reference? It's not unusual to be asked to write this kind of letter for a work colleague with whom you have a positive relationship. It's not difficult at all, especially if you have a good example to use as a starting point.

Sample Colleague Character Reference

Rather than starting from a blank screen, download the free printable character reference provided here when you're ready to begin writing a character reference for a colleague. Click the image below to get started. The document will open as a PDF file that you can save, change and print using the program's toolbar.

colleague reference letter
Reference letter for colleague

If you experience any problems opening the document, see this helpful guide to working with printables.

Reasons for a Coworker Character Reference

There are several reasons a coworker may ask for a character reference letter from a coworker or supervisor. Examples include:

  • College or graduate school application
  • Scholarship application
  • Consideration for a seat on a charitable organization's board of directors
  • Membership in a professional association
  • Professional certification
  • Award/recognition program consideration
  • Work promotion
  • A job somewhere else

When you agree to write a character reference for one of your coworkers or employees, be sure to ask the purpose of the letter so you can tailor your response appropriately. After all, what you might want to say if the individual is applying to attend school might be different than she is seeking a high-level board position for a charitable organization.

Writing Tips

Be mindful what you say can influence important decisions that may have a significant impact on your coworker's life. Be truthful in your letter, sharing relevant insights you have learned about the individual's character during the time you have worked together.

Keep in mind the quality of your letter will reflect on your professionalism as well as that of the person the document is about. Make sure your letter sends a positive message by using an appropriate format for business correspondence, using correct grammar and proofing carefully to catch and fix any typographical or grammatical mistakes. Don't send the letter until you are sure it is error-free.

Honor Your Obligation

When someone you work with asks you to provide a character reference, chances are the individual is assuming you will have something positive to say. Be sure you feel comfortable vouching for the individual and that you can honor the commitment before you agree. If the letter isn't positive or isn't turned in on time, it could keep the person from being able to achieve a goal. It would be better for you to decline to write the letter than to do something that could be a barrier to his success.

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Character Reference Letter Sample for a Work Colleague