26 Jun Do You Need A Character Reference Letter?
Why consider a character reference letter? When you’re on the hunt for a new job, you must do all you can to stand out from the dozens of other candidates. You want to make sure that employer’s personnel recognize your potential and schedule an interview with you.
While there are several things you can do to stand out, one option is to include a character reference letter with your resume.
What is a character reference letter?
A character reference letter is a short letter written by an individual who knows you well. This is not like a professional reference letter (written by a current or previous employer). Rather, this is someone who knows you on a more personal level and can speak out about your qualities and characteristics and why you would be a valuable asset to the company’s team.
Who should you choose to write the letter?
One of the challenges is finding the right individual to write the letter. You want to choose an individual who has worked with you in a more professional setting rather than an old friend or roommate. A few great examples of individuals to write the letter include:
- A coach
- A professor or teacher
- A co-volunteer or someone in charge of a volunteer event
- A member of an organization you may be a part of (PTO, Homeowner’s association, etc.)
- A past client or customer
What should the letter say?
The character reference letter should be written by someone who knows you well so they can provide specific details regarding your personality and the skills you possess. The letter should state how you know the individual and the type of environment you worked with him or her. It should also list two or three skills that you possess and ways you have demonstrated these skills.
Are character reference letters necessary?
If a character reference letter is not specifically requested during the application process, it is not necessary. However, you may still wish to provide one. This document can be the difference between you and the other candidates. Also, some employers and HR representatives will ask for these letters at the end of the interview process. This can help narrow down the candidates they want to interview.
If you’re worried that your past employers will provide poor references, a character reference by someone outside of the workforce may be beneficial to show you in a more positive light. This is also an excellent resource for college graduates who have little work experience behind them. Just remember that if no one specifically requests the letter, you always run the risk of the letter not being read.
A character reference letter is one more document you should gather during the job hunt that can help strengthen your candidacy. However, if you do choose to provide this document, make sure to ask your character references for help early in the process and not last minute.