Home Student & Career Tips How to Write a Testimonial Letter

How to Write a Testimonial Letter

This article contains the steps on how to write a Testimonial Letter. A testimonial letter is also a recommendation letter.

Testimonial Letter

Like the name goes, testimonial is obtained from the word “testimony” which means a first-hand account by a witness. Therefore, a testimonial is a written confirmation of another person’s character or worth in the form of a personal recommendation. A Testimonial Letter is written by a person such as a tutor or an employer who is in a position to recommend another. Hence, a testimonial letter must be written by someone else and not you.

The person who writes a testimonial letter must be able to confirm and attest to the character, abilities, and disposition of a person. This type of request is usually made by people who are applying for a new job, testifying to the fact that they are of good character.

A testimonial letter is used by a person who is looking for a job, an admission in a university, or someone who sells services and products. A testimonial letter is written to confirm the credits and worth of a person’s character and professionalism. In other words, employers may request applicants to submit testimonial letters also known as letters of recommendation to better assess their character, skills and potential as a new employee in their company.

Different people, including personal friends, can write this type of letter.  In a situation where a friend writes a letter of recommendation for you, it is called a personal reference or a character reference and it’s expected to summarize your personal experience with the characteristics and skills that qualify you for the position. Personal reference letters are usually added to applications especially when seeking first jobs.

So, if a friend asks you for a personal reference, consider writing a letter that clearly outlines their work ethic, positive character traits and attitude to make your recommendation as effective as possible.

In this article, we discuss how to write a recommendation or testimonial letter for a friend and provide an example to help when next you’re approached to write a recommendation letter.


An effective and well written recommendation letter can influence the hiring decision in your friend’s favor. Thus, below are steps to consider when writing a personal recommendation for a friend or loved one:

1. Understand the purpose of the letter

Before accepting a friend’s request to write them a testimonial letter, consider your relationship with the person. Do you have enough knowledge of the person’s professional accomplishments?

More so, it is important to first understand whether your friend or whomever you’re writing for is seeking a character reference or a professional testimonial. If it’s a professional recommendation, it is best to politely suggest they find someone who can attest to their professional skills, accomplishments and work ethic such as a colleague or former supervisor, but if they are in need of a character reference, it is fine to provide one for them if you feel you can write a genuine letter with adequate reasons why your friend is the best candidate for the job.

2. Request Details about the Job Opening

Another important step is to ask to see the job listing, discuss the job description as well as the technical skills and personal attributes that are essential for the job. This can help you describe your friend’s abilities and skills accordingly. You can also conduct your own research of the company to learn more about their mission and history to better understand how your friend can contribute to the company’s goals.

3. Discuss the background of your relationship

At the beginning of your testimonial letter, your relationship with the candidate should be clearly stated. You can mention how long you’ve known each other and how you met. This information is important to better convince the hiring team on your personal qualifications to speak on behalf of your friend.

Your testimony can provide an employer with specific aspects of your friend’s capabilities and personality. For example, being long-time friends is an indication that you’ve seen how your friend has grown and continues to grow as a person.

4. Mention examples of skills and qualifications

This information is best included in the body of your letter. Here, you discuss the skills and attributes mentioned in your friend’s resume.

For example, you can disclose the degrees and certifications your friend has earned or the volunteer positions they accepted to boost their personal development.

5. Include Your Contact Information

The next thing that follows after the body of the letter is the conclusion. Conclude your testimonial by stating your availability to further discuss your friend’s qualifications and the only way to appear reliable is by providing the phone number where you can easily be reached alongside your email address. This step gives the recipient an opportunity to ask you questions about the candidate.

6. Address the Letter Appropriately

Before you write your testimonial, ask your friend to who the letter should be addressed. If they don’t have a specific name, consider addressing it to the company’s hiring department. Try as much as possible to avoid the use of  “To whom  it may concern”. In addition to personalizing your letter, a proper address ensures your message reaches the appropriate person.

7. Keep it Brief

A standard testimonial letter typically has only two or three short paragraphs. Thus, always keep it simple and concise to ensure the recipient can easily and quickly read your message.

8. Follow Submission Requirements

Most official letters have a requirement for submission. Therefore, ask your friend how the letter should be submitted. You may be asked to mail the letter directly to the hiring team. In some cases, you may be required to place the letter in a sealed envelope for your friend to submit the letter in person.

If you are sending the letter by mail, endeavour to use a business letter format when writing your letter.

This should include the person’s name, title and company.


Address Details

Tel. Details

Fax Details

Email Address


The title of the recipient

Dear Sir or Madam,

First Paragraph

Second and Subsequent Paragraphs

Closing Paragraph

Yours faithfully,

Jean Brown

First Sample Paragraph

I am writing this letter as a personal reference for Ms Benny.

Then explain how you know the person and why you are qualified to recommend the person.

For example:

I have known Ms Benny for over xyz years and have found him to be honest, reliable, hard working, diligent and dedicated to work.

2nd Paragraph example- Skills and abilities

Provide details of why they are qualified, proven successes and what they can contribute.

Closing Sample Paragraphs

Explain why you are recommending them.

Following the sample above,  below is a detailed example of a testimonial letter for a friend.

This example will enable you to know how to best structure yours. Therefore, use this sample personal testimonial letter to get started:

Elizabeth Jones

Plot 55, Redline avenue, Ikoyi, Lagos


May 6, 2021

Wilson Mark

Vine Lines LTD

2901 Sixth Ave, New York.

Dear Ms Samson,

I am writing in reference to Angela Watson. We have been family friends for the past thirteen years, and I have always known her to be an ambitious and highly motivated person. I believe that her strong vision makes her an ideal candidate for the project manager position at Vine Lines Ltd.

When I met Angela, she had just graduated from New York  business school. That achievement at a very young age of 18 was what made me pick interest in her. As if that was enough, with the space of one year after graduating from business school,  she started making plans to pursue a Master of Business Administration. We initially connected at a community event, and I could immediately see that she is a driven individual with enviable potential. Over the years, I have been inspired by her to do wonderful things.

We have volunteered for several neighborhood initiatives, which gave me the opportunity to see leadership and teamwork skills firsthand. She recently led a community fundraiser, which involved coordinating a project plan, managing a team of 50 people and generating jaw-dropping contributions.

In the past three years, Angela has also obtained  professional certification and earned a year of work experience at City Financials. During her time at City Fin, she effortlessly progressed from an intern to a junior associate role. Her business acumen, strong self-motivation and leadership skills makes her highly qualified for the Project Manager role in your organization. Given her experience, qualifications and constant improvement, I believe she will be a top performer at your company.

Kindly let me know if you have any further questions about Angela Watson’s qualifications as I would be glad to provide more details. I can be reached on +2349045***** or email at Elizabeth_J@gmail.com.

Best regards,

Elizabeth Jones.


A testimonial letter is simply a written declaration attesting to a person’s character, conduct, or qualifications, or to the value, excellence of a thing or person. A lot of information is valuable, but make sure you keep the testimonial short and concise. This information will put a face on the individual or product for your readers, making the testimonial more personal. Aim to give whoever reads the testimonial an idea of who the employee is beyond the workplace. A personal testimonial may also be important when applying for a job.

The easiest way to make your testimonials more credible is to focus on details.

Therefore, a person who is able to confirm the character and abilities of a person is in the best position to write a testimonial letter. As the writer, be ready to provide some form of contact information so that the employer can reach you with further questions.

When approached to write a testimonial letter, it’s better to decline than to write something that’s less than a strong endorsement of the person. Imagine a friend or colleague has asked you about the business or service, mention some of the employee’s positive personal qualities and skills.

A Testimonial Letter is important and requires a formal format. Generally you will not know the recipient personally so the format, style and structure of a testimonial letter is applied in a formal style.

Finally, a testimonial letter should include information about the person’s character, personality traits, talents, skills and personal ethics. The purpose is to confirm that you have personal knowledge of the person that indicates that they have an outstanding character and reputation and that you are willing to recommend them to the person you are writing to. I trust that the information provided will go a long way in helping you to write an excellent testimonial letter for that friend and loved one when next they approach you.

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