How to Write a Letter Attesting to Character

Updated April 17, 2017

Letters attesting to a person's character support a group's decision about whether to accept that person into a role or position. That group could be an admissions committee at a medical school or a promotion and tenure committee at an academic institution. Letter writers consist of individuals who are familiar with the candidate, personally or professionally. If you have the task of writing a letter attesting to a person's character, it is important to establish yourself as someone qualified to perform the evaluation as well as provide examples to support your character assessment statements.

Describe the purpose of your letter, such as, "I am writing this letter to comment on Mr. Steve Pine's character."

State the nature and length of your acquaintance. You could write it this way: "I met Mr. Pine more than 30 years ago while serving as a military police officer. He was a part of my core investigative team for seven years. He and I have kept in touch with each other over the past 20 plus years."

Comment about the person's character. Give an example of how you've seen different character traits play out in the person's life. Discuss at least two traits. You could write, for example, "Mr. Pine is a very considerate individual. During one of our toughest cases, he always made it a point to ..."

Give a final endorsement of the person for a position, where applicable.

State that you will provide further assistance, if needed. Provide your contact information.

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