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The Power of Character References

The Power of Character References

March 20, 2024

Character references boost applications! Learn how to request & write impactful references that showcase your ethics & qualities beyond a CV.


Character references are a powerful tool for revealing an applicant’s true character and ethical standards. They provide valuable insights that go beyond CVs and interviews, aiding employers and institutions in making informed decisions for various opportunities. They provide valuable insights that go beyond CVs and interviews, aiding employers and institutions in making informed decisions for various opportunities such as jobs university applications or volunteering placements.

Importance of Character References

Character references offer a unique perspective on an applicant’s personal qualities and behaviour. These insights are crucial for employers who want to assess trustworthiness and suitability for specific roles. For example, a character reference from a previous manager can reveal details about your work ethic and teamwork skills that a CV might not capture.

Writing an Effective Reference

An effective character reference is a well-written document that provides a clear picture of the applicant’s character. Here’s how to write a strong reference:

  • Include specific anecdotes: Showcase the applicant’s character in action by describing specific situations where they demonstrated key qualities.
  • Use impactful testimonials: Share real-life examples of the candidate’s behaviour and work ethic to strengthen the reference’s credibility.
  • Maintain a formal tone: Keep the language professional and appropriate for the context.
  • Include contact details: Provide your contact information for potential employers who may want to verify the reference.

Guidelines for Requesting Personal References

When seeking character references, it is advisable to approach individuals who have a deep understanding of your personal attributes and ethical conduct. To guarantee a successful request, consider the following guidelines:

  1. Request Etiquette: Politely ask for the reference, explaining the purpose and why you believe they are a suitable candidate to provide it.
  2. Follow-Up: After receiving the reference, express gratitude and keep them informed of the outcome.
  3. Personal Anecdotes: Provide specific examples of situations where their input could be valuable, enhancing your credibility.
  4. Credibility: Choose individuals who can offer a balanced and honest assessment of your character, highlighting both strengths and areas for improvement.


To sum up, character references serve as valuable tools in providing insight into an individual’s personal attributes and suitability for roles in professional and academic settings.

By highlighting one’s integrity, ethics, and work ethic, character references offer a unique perspective that complements traditional employer references.

When crafted effectively and thoughtfully, character references can greatly enhance a candidate’s credibility and showcase their true character beyond what aCV or interview may reveal.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What is a character reference?

A character reference is a document or a person who can provide insight into an individual’s character traits and suitability for a particular role or situation. It can be in the form of a letter or a verbal endorsement.

2. How do I unlock power of references in a job search?

Ensure you have strong professional references lined up who can vouch for your work ethic and suitability for your dream job. Include these references on your CV and prepare them for any reference check conducted by hiring managers.

3. What are the best practices for listing references on a CV?

When listing references on a CV, make sure to include individuals who can speak to your skills and qualifications related to the job. Follow a template format that includes the job title of your referee and their contact information.

4. How important are references in the hiring process?

References play a crucial role in the hiring process as they provide insight into your character, reliability, and past performance. Ensure your references are well-prepared to highlight your strengths to potential employers.

5. What should I consider when choosing references for a job application?

When choosing references for a job application, select individuals who can provide specific examples of your skills and qualities relevant to the position you are applying for. Opt for individuals who can vouch for your abilities in a competitive job market.

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