Looking for your first job? Concerned about the references your employer might give you? Consider using a character reference (personal reference) in addition to or as an alternative to employment reference letters.
Use Personal References
Keep in mind, that if you are employed or have worked in the past, employers will check with your previous employers. However, if you work record isn't perfect you can bolster your candidacy with a good character reference. If you are looking for your first job, you can use personal references instead of employment references.
Who to Ask for a Reference
Who should you ask to provide a personal reference or write a character reference letter for you? Neighbors and acquaintances may be willing to write a reference for you. Business acquaintances, professors/academic advisors, customers, and vendors can all make good references.
If you volunteer consider using leaders or other members of the organization as personal references. Have you participated in the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, 4-H, a similar organization or in school sports? Ask your group leader or coach to write a personal letter of reference for you. If you've baby-sat or dog-sat or shoveled snow, ask the people you worked for if they will write a reference letter for you.
Write a Character / Personal Reference Letter
Have you been asked to write a reference letter? Or do you want some samples to give to the person who is writing a reference letter for you? Review our letter samples for a character reference and our other reference letter samples for ideas and suggestions on what to write and how to provide a compelling reference.
Character Reference Letter Samples
Sample Character Reference Letters
Character reference letters can be written by teachers, neighbors, business acquaintances, clients, vendors and other recommenders who can attest to your skills and abilities. Review a variety of sample character reference letters.
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