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References

References are intended to help a prospective employer learn more about your potential, your past experience, education and character as they evaluate your fit for a future position.  Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines References as “one referred to or consulted: as a : a person to whom inquiries as to character or ability can be made b : a statement of the qualifications of a person seeking employment or appointment given by someone familiar with the person.”

Some thoughts before you get started;

  • Always ask permission before you include someone to serve as a reference for you
  • Ask each reference their preferred method of being contacted (ie home phone, business phone or cell phone number)
  • Keep all reference  information current
  • College students should select a total of 3-4 references.  2 academic references; 1-2 employer references is a good balance.  If you are seeking a technical position, always include at least one reference who can speak to your technical knowledge and experience. 
  • Always ask individuals who will speak highly of you and can provide examples to support their understanding of your abilities, character, work ethic and skills.
  • When possible, contact your references in advance to inform them of a potential reference check. 

SAMPLE REFERENCE FORMAT

References of Sarah W. Smith

123 Address, City, State, Zip Code, Phone, Cell Phone, E-Mail Address

Professional Contacts

Name
Position/Title
Company/School
Company/School address
Phone
Cell phone
E-Mail
How Long Known
Capacity
Relationship: casual or professional

Personal Contacts

Name
Professional Title
Home Address
Phone
Cell phone
E-Mail
How Long Known
Relationship: casual or good friend

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