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
How Long Known
Relationship: casual or professional
How Long Known
Relationship: casual or good friend