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Hey all!

The person I was hoping to get my character reference from was asking like what kind of things are expected, or if I could give him some sort of outline as to what areas need to be talked about.

And I was wondering, what exactly is stuff you should include for a successful character reference letter? Is there anything they look for or like 'key words' to add in? Any info would be helpful! i.e. formatting the letter, what areas he should discuss, specific characteristics or things to include, etc.??

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Ideally, the writer should know you in some capacity and be able to say something of significance about you. Throwing around words without context could prove to be meaningless. For example, to say you are trustworthy without giving an example would not carry much weight. Honesty, trustworthy, humility, dependable, patient, caring. What does the writer truly know about you and what character traits does he/she value over others, and why? You do not want a meaningless laundry list but rather a meaningful evaluation based upon experience with and knowledge of you the person should at a minimum indicate how long you are known to him/her and in what capacities. Are you compassionate, do you have empathy, do you engender Trust, are you a good communicator, an active citizen contributing t.o your community, do you go out of your way to be helpful to others, how do you compare to your peers in these important characteristics, are you the sort of person the writer would be comfortable being his/her physician? Why does the writer feel this way about you? Would the Letter appear credible and believable by the reader, or rather would it be considered as a self-serving document of support? 

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