Acquiring and Maintaining References


How many?                 

Plan to identify 3-5 people to use as references and then provide 3-5 for each position applied for, depending on who is the most relevant for each position.

Who to ask?

Full-time and part-time work supervisors, volunteer coordinators, peer advisors/mentors,
professors and academic instructors, academic advisors, and any other person that can speak
to your abilities related to the job you are applying for.  People not to list: parents, friends, family,
significant others, etc.

What to ask?

Schedule a short meeting or phone call with this person (meeting preferred) and ask them to be a positive reference for you.  Talk about the position you want and your qualifications so that you and your reference are on the same page about what information is being presented about you.  Make sure to ask this person for their preferred contact information so you can include it on your reference page, and remember to say thank you!

What to provide?

A copy of your current cover letter and résumé, and anything else the reference may need from you.

Note: Notify references when you apply to a position. They’ll appreciate the heads-up!



Use the same heading on the top of your reference sheet that you used on the top of your résumé – they should match.

Write “references” as your section heading and format it so it looks the same as the section headings on your résumé.

List 3-5 references, in order of importance for the specific position being applied for. Include their name, relationship to you (i.e. Academic Advisor), their address (professional preferred), phone number, and e-mail.