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Reference List

Potential employers can request a list of references to contact and to ask questions about you as a candidate. A reference list contains three to five people that you are allowing a potential employer to contact. References could include:

  • Current or previous employers
  • Professors
  • Advisors (academic or career)
  • Colleagues
  • Supervisors

Do not include friends or parents unless you worked for or with them. Be sure to follow these tips:

  • Contact your references before applying for the position to let them know they may be contacted
  • Give your references as much information about the position as possible
  • Let your references know a time frame when they may be contacted (if possible)
  • Send your references a personal handwritten thank you letter as soon as possible
  • Use the reference list to create yours today

Recommendation Letters

Employers may request you to submit recommendation letters when applying for a position. If you have identified quality references, this is whom you should ask to write a letter on your behalf. Be sure to follow these tips:

  • Give your references at least one week to write a letter of recommendation
  • Send your references your application materials and the job description so they can tailor their letters to the position requirements
  • Provide your references with specific submission requirements
  • Send your references a personal handwritten thank you letter as soon as possible
  • Check out the employer page if you are an employer and want guidance on writing a recommendation letter