Personal Reference Definition [Personal References 101]

If youโ€™re looking for a personal reference definition, youโ€™re in the right placeโ€ฆ

In this article, our team will share exactly what a personal reference is, who qualifies to provide a personal reference, and what information you need to include.

And, if youโ€™re looking for information on a bank reference letter you can use our detailed free guide to navigate your options.

Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to any sections most relevant to you.

Table of Contents

  1. Personal Reference Definition
  2. What Should You Include in Personal References?
  3. Frequently Asked Questions
  4. Ready to Explore Your Options?

Personal Reference Definition

A personal reference can be referred to as a character reference. It provides a brief assessment of you as a person. In general, it should be written by someone who knows you well. Personal references are sometimes requested by banks and financial institutions when opening a bank account as part of supporting documents.

But, knowing the personal reference definition isn’t enough to ensure you get the right type of reference. You also need to consider who you are asking for a reference.

Additionally, before nominating or requesting a personal reference from someone, it’s necessary to seek their consent. You should also ensure the referee is willing and comfortable taking on such a role. Also, be sure to provide the referee with adequate information related to the purpose of the reference.

What Should You Include in Personal References?

Here is some frequent information that is expected in a personal reference:

1. Relationship Between the Parties

The personal reference letter should outline the relationship between the two parties. It is a crucial factor because it shows the angle from which the referee is providing a reference.

For instance, if your accountant is writing you a personal reference, it would suggest that the reference is required to provide a truthful and fair statement.

2. Length of Relationship

The reference letter should state how long the person has been known to the referee.

3. Worthiness and Reliability

The referee must state in their letter how much they can vouch for the individual’s moral character, trustworthiness, respectability, and suitability for opening and operating a bank account to the best of their knowledge.

Personal Reference vs Professional Reference

Most people searching for a personal reference definition, also want to understand the difference between a personal and professional reference. With this in mind, here is an overview of both.

Professional Reference Definition

A professional reference is written by a previous or present employer. This may include a line manager, team lead, supervisor, or senior colleague. Such references speak to your character from a professional and personal perspective.

Personal Reference Definition

On the other hand, a personal reference letter is given by someone who can vouch for your values, integrity, and character outside of your work capacity. Personal and Professional references could also be regarded as character references.

Who Can You Put as a Personal Reference?

Although anyone close to you can provide you with a personal reference, it’s usually best practice to nominate a business associate, lawyer, or accountant. Of course, whoever you nominate as your reference needs to be someone of integrity and good character.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are four of the most common questions that we receive from people seeking a personal reference definition. If you have further questions you would like answered, donโ€™t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.

Can a Personal Reference Be a Family Member?

No, friends and family are not appropriate personal references. With this in mind, it is always best to select someone who is not an immediate family as their opinion may be construed as biased.

Can a Friend Be a Personal Reference?

No, a friend is not an appropriate personal reference. Banks will view friends as biased and unable to provide a constructive reference for the purpose of assessing your character.

Can a Coworker Be a Personal Reference?

Yes, a coworker who knows you on a personal level could act as a personal reference. Using a coworker with whom you share personal relationships beyond work, such as volunteering together or working on business or projects together, is advisable. It will ensure they describe your values, integrity, character, and goals outside the work environment.

How Should References Be Prepared & Presented?

Personal references could be prepared and presented in any format unless otherwise stated by receipt banks. Ideally, It should be typed and saved in PDF format if submitted via email. In addition, it should include the referee’s legal name(s), address, and contact information.

Ready to Explore Your Options?

If you are looking for information beyond the definition of personal reference letters, we can help.

You can access GlobalBanks IQ, our international banking intelligence platform, in just a few clicks. Unlock our bank database, individual bank profiles, account opening strategies and reports, banker scripts, and more.

But, if you want a 100% personalized account opening service that taps into our teamโ€™s expertise and provides direct banker introductions, you can get started with GlobalBanks Insider.

Of course, if you have any questions, please contact us directly.

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Oluwatosin Adams
Oluwatosin Adams

Oluwatosin is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist with experience in Financial Crime Prevention, AML, KYC, and Customer Management. She was previously a Compliance Analyst with Allied Irish Bank (AIB) in Ireland. Oluwatosin holds a Master's Degree in Strategic Management & Financial Services from TU Dublin and a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting & Finance from Dublin Business School.

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