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What is a reference list and how is it used?

Ref-er-ence n. [a previous or current; colleagues, staff at IUPUI or previous institutions, advisers, employers, supervisor, professor/teacher, customer/client you have served, volunteer contact, coaches/teammates, club/organization adviser/members, who can speak to your skills and strengths]

Formatting Your Reference List

When completing a list of references, always format the contact information of your reference list like your resume. Be sure to include the following information in your references:

  • Name
  • Position title
  • Name of company or organization
  • Phone number
  • E-mail address
  • Relationship to you (e.g., former supervisor, colleague)

Quick Tips for Reference Lists

  • Follow the application instructions; i.e. if they ask for three references, provide three references.
  • If a list of references is not requested, plan to take a few copies of references to your interview 
  • Always ask individuals to be your references ahead of submitting the list. Give your references ample notice of when they may be contacted.
  • Ensure your references are kept in the loop on the position descriptions you are applying for once you receive word you will be interviewed.
  • Always send a formal thank you to your references.