31+ Free Personal Reference Letter Templates [Word]

A personal reference letter template is a written document in which someone explains the job candidate’s personality and character. The main purpose of this letter is to bolster a person’s application for a job. This letter commonly written to appraise the personal attributes of someone usually outside of a work environment. Moreover, it is also known as a character recommendation or a character reference letter.

The benefits of a personal reference letter:

If this letter is written by the right person then it can put you in a good position for a job and employment offers. It assists you in closing an employment gap and ensures an employer’s trust. This document is very important especially when you have been out of job for a couple of months. By having a trusted character reference letter, you stand a better chance. This letter provide the employer quality information about your background and upbringing.

What to include in a personal reference letter?

Your personal reference letter should include the following key components;

  • At first, explain your relationship with the applicant. Grabs the reader attention before discussing someone’s personal character. State that where you know them from and how long you have been known each other. You should indicate that you know the candidate well enough and your description on his character carries some weight.
  • In the next paragraph, provide examples of the applicant’s positive qualities. Qualities like excellent communication, positive outlook, academic performance, etc should be included. Then, give some examples that witnessed the applicant’s these qualities. Tangible accomplishments and actions indicate the candidate’s potential.
  • In the end, highly recommend the applicant for the position. Also, summarizes the points you have made to reach the final conclusion.

Tips for writing a personal reference letter:

  • Firstly, make sure that you are the right person to write the letter. Keep in mind that the hiring manager wants to know an applicant’s personality characteristics. Therefore, you should know the person well in order to give this effectively. If your description of the candidate is vague then this decreases his chances of securing a position.
  • This letter is not the space for exaggeration. When a referee is stretching the truth, a hiring manager can sniff it out. This will negative impression on the manager. It also reduces the recommender’s credibility. Be honest during expressing your friend as an outstanding candidate.
  • Everyone has their weaknesses but it’s best to stick to the strengths when writing a reference letter for employment.
  • Keep your personal reference letter brief. There is no need of full length biography. Although you have a lot of information to share but short and straightforward reference leaves more impact.
  • Don’t get too personal because it may sound like an ironic concept. Don’t mix a person’s characteristics and unnecessary personal information. Additionally, there is no need to include anything outside of the personality attributes and achievements.
  • During writing a letter, be professional and polite. If you are writing a letter for friend then you must have to maintain a professional tone. Never make too casual sound.
  • When mentioning the applicant’s skills ensure that there is proof to back it up. Provide some specific examples in order to show that these are not just free-floating concepts.
  • Pay attention to relevant information. Be careful while explaining the details. Don’t get lost into irrelevant information.
  • Most importantly, never forget to include your contact number. This is because if the hiring manager will need any additional information he can contact you easily.


In conclusion, a personal reference letter template indicates you what components you need to include in your letter. This letter must be written by the people who know job candidates outside of work. Also, he should be able to explain his character and ability on a personal level.