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Sample Recommendation: A Friend's Character Reference

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Apr 10, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Letters of Recommendation



This final recommendation letter example represents a character reference. A character reference might come from a friend, neighbor, or even relative. It tends to be more personal than professional and speaks to the subject's personality and character.

Some jobs ask for a character reference, but there are other circumstances that call for one, too. In the below letter, the writer is recommending her neighbor and close friend for a place in their local Rotary Club, an organization dedicated to community service. 


Sample Letter #9: Written by a Friend as a Character Reference

Alan Friedman
Rotary Club President
60 Main St.
Midtown, NH 03031


Dear Mr. Friedman,

It’s my pleasure to recommend my neighbor and dear personal friend, Rosa, for membership in the Rotary Club. I’ve known Rosa for almost a decade and can attest to her strength of character and compassion for others. As the owner of Rosa’s Bake Shop and parent to two children in the public school system, Rosa is an actively contributing member of the community. She would make an outstanding addition to the Rotary Club and embody our mission to provide service to others.

I first met Rosa when she and her family moved into the house next door. We quickly found our paths crossing not just as neighbors, but also as fellow parents involved in the PTA. We and our families have become close friends, and over the years, we’ve worked together on a number of neighborhood events, like the Halloween scavenger hunt and annual block party. Rosa has always amazed me with her commitment to our community. With her spirit of giving and skill for community organizing, Rosa lives by Rotary Club’s primary motto, “Service above self.”

As many of you know, Rosa’s an active business leader in our community as the owner of Rosa’s Bake Shop on Main Street. She spreads joy with her fresh baked goods and supplies bread to many local restaurants. Rosa has also employed local students as cashiers and donates a portion of her profits to the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Her contributions (and cakes) nurture many people in town. Joining the Rotary Club would allow her to continue her leadership in the community.

On a more personal level, Rosa is a cherished friend and all around lovely person. She’s thoughtful, reliable, and warm, and my kids and I have spent many rainy days mixing up cookie dough and decorating cupcakes in her kitchen. Rosa has worked hard to get where she is today, and she truly deserves all the success that has come her way as a parent and local business owner.

Rosa is an outstanding and active citizen with a great commitment to community service. I look forward to seeing all the good that she will continue to do in town as our newest Rotarian. Please feel free to contact me for any further information. Thank you for your consideration.



Lara Turner




As a local baker, Rosa probably doesn't even need a recommendation letter to show how awesome she is (unless sending cupcakes instead is seen as a form of bribery?).


Recommendation Letter #9: The Breakdown

This recommendation letter sample represents a specific type, that of a character reference. A character reference may come from a friend, neighbor, relative, or other person close to the recommendee. While some jobs ask for character references, other circumstances when they might be called for include a nomination to a community position, as in the above example, buying a house or condo, or even for use in court.

Character references tend to be much more personal than a typical professional letter. If you’re asked to provide a character reference, you can describe the person’s personal qualities and character. Just as with any other letter, you should strive to give specific examples to back up your characterization of the subject of your letter.

In the above sample, Lara Turner attests to the strong character of her friend and neighbor, Rosa, so that she can join the local Rotary Club. Lara talks about her close relationship with Rosa and describes some of Rosa’s personal strengths. Since Rotary Club is dedicated to community service, Lara focuses especially on Rosa’s contributions to the community as a local business owner, PTA volunteer, and active event organizer in their neighborhood.

She states her support and gives specific examples to back up her words. Overall, her letter stands as a strong statement of support for Rosa and fulfills its purpose as a character reference for Rosa’s admission into Rotary Club.


What's Next? 

Are you looking for a more professionally-oriented letter of recommendation example? Check out this job reference sample written by a manager for a full-time employee.

Want to learn more? Head over to our full guide on recommendation letters for eight more samples, along with suggestions for how to write your reference


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Rebecca Safier
About the Author

Rebecca graduated with her Master's in Adolescent Counseling from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has years of teaching and college counseling experience and is passionate about helping students achieve their goals and improve their well-being. She graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University and scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT.

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