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This can be a friend, neighbor or relative. It can also be a person with whom you have shared an experience, such as a teammate or fellow volunteer. Also known as a personal reference or personal recommendation, a character reference documents your positive personal attributes.
This type of reference is important for non-employment related pursuits ranging from memberships and awards to child custody and adoptions. Character reference letters can also prove useful in landing jobs.
A good character reference letter from someone you know can be helpful for job seeking when you Lack favorable references from current or former employers Are starting out and have no work history or have been out of the job market for a long time Have not attended college and cannot benefit from professor recommendations Have a potential employer who wants to better understand your background or better understand what you're really like Are seeking a position where particular personal characteristics are important With the advent of personal computers and printers and the widespread practice of networking, character references are more common than in the past.
Nevertheless, they are more important than ever. There are five distinctions between an employment reference letter from your boss and a character reference letter from your friend.
Character reference letters are typically Less formal Not focused on an economic relationship Subjective in what they cover More straightforward An employment reference is usually an official document on company letterhead.
It is written in a formal tone and frequently follows a standard, rather impersonal format. Employment references are courtesies extended in the business community. They are "report cards" written from employers past to employers future. To have any use, they must objectively appraise your job performance.
This means they must cover all relevant aspects of your work and address both your strengths and weaknesses. Of course, employment references are unlikely to simply spell things out.
Most such letters contain organizational doublespeak which makes the bad and the ugly sound good when the letters are casually read. Character references on the other hand usually describe your positive personal attributes.
They are written by people who are loyal to you-- friends, neighbors, family members. The character traits discussed in these letters are objectively stated, but are subjectively chosen for inclusion.
In other words, the good things go in and the bad things stay out. For the most part character reference letters do not pertain to an economic relationship.
They are written less formally and are by their nature highly personalized. At their best, they are also quite straightforward.
Personal employment references A gray area exists between the two types of letters when it comes to personal employment. However, usually a letter for a babysitter, nanny, tutor, home caregiver, housekeeper or similar personal service provider is more appropriately approached as a character reference.
While pertaining to economic relationships these letters are most effective when personalized. As a practical matter they are also informal, relatively straightforward and somewhat subjective in what they include.June 29, Dear College or University President: We write to express concern on the part of the Department of Justice and the Department of Education that colleges and universities are using electronic book readers that are not accessible to students who are blind or have low vision and to seek your help in ensuring that this emerging .
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