At some stage in the job application process an employer will probably request a list of your references. You should prepare a list of references which you can send promptly to an employer when requested to do so. Do not list your references within the body of your résumé - use a separate reference sheet.
Your goal is to select at least three references who can attest to your skills and experiences as they relate to your career objective. The best references come from people who know you well enough to be able to give specific anecdotes about you which support the qualities required.
- Internship Supervisors
- Volunteer Site Supervisors
- Summer Job Employers
- Organizational Advisors
You must obtain permission to use someone as a reference. It is a good idea to strive for a mix of supervisors and professors. With the exception of teacher candidates and graduate school recommendations, references do not need to write you a letter. By agreeing to be your reference they should understand that your prospective employer may be contacting them by phone to discuss your background. It is best to provide your references with a copy of your résumé to remind them of all your accomplishments as well as information on the position you are applying for.
The Reference Sheet
On the same type of paper that you are using for your résumé and cover letter, list each person's name, title, address and phone number. Also, state the person's relationship to you if it is not clear from their title (i.e., academic advisor, student teaching supervisor). Be sure to include your name and contact information at the top of this sheet.
Maintain Contact with your References
Stay in touch with the people you list as references, both during and after your job search. This is especially true if you plan to ask one or two of your professors to speak/write on your behalf. Many professors get dozens of requests to serve as references every year. If you stay in contact with them they will remember you and feel more confident in giving you a good recommendation. If you know that an employer has called one of your references, be sure to send a formal thank you letter to that reference within two weeks.