Employment references are individuals who can talk about your work experience, work habits, character, and skills. They are also documented on a refence page.

What Are References?

For a college student, a professional reference is a recommendation provided by someone who knows you in a professional capacity, like a former employer, supervisor, professor, or mentor. This recommendation attests to your skills, qualifications, work ethic, and character. Essentially, it’s a way for others to vouch for your abilities and suitability for jobs, internships, or further education.

Think of a professional reference as a vote of confidence. When you apply for a job or graduate program, potential employers or admissions committees might contact these references to get an understanding of your capabilities and how you’ve performed in professional or academic settings. It’s like having someone who can speak on your behalf, providing real-life examples of your achievements and qualities to help you stand out among other candidates.

References – Where to begin

Building a list of professional references as a college student is crucial for your future career opportunities. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you gather a strong list of references:

1. Identify Potential References

  • Professors: Consider professors who know you well and can speak about your academic abilities, work ethic, or any projects you’ve worked on.
  • Employers or Supervisors: If you’ve had part-time jobs, internships, or volunteer positions, supervisors or employers can vouch for your work skills.
  • Mentors: Any professional mentors or advisors you have can provide valuable references.
  • Peers or Colleagues: If you’ve worked on group projects or collaborated on research, your peers can provide insights into your teamwork and collaboration skills.

2. Ask for Permission:

  • Contact potential references and ask if they are willing to serve as a reference for you. Be polite, explain why you’re asking them specifically, and ensure they are comfortable recommending you.

3. Provide Information:
– Offer your potential references information about the jobs or programs you’re applying for. This helps them tailor their recommendation to highlight the skills and qualities relevant to the position.

4. Stay in Touch:

  • Keep your references updated on your progress and successes. A reference who is aware of your recent achievements can provide a more current and impactful recommendation.

5. Thank Your References:

  • Once you’ve secured a job or a spot in a program, make sure to express your gratitude to your references. A thank-you email or note goes a long way and keeps the door open for future opportunities.

6. Maintain Professionalism:

  • Always maintain professionalism in your interactions with your references. They are vouching for your character, so it’s essential to be respectful and appreciative of their time and effort.

7. Diversify Your References:

  • Try to have a mix of academic and professional references. Having references from different areas of your life can provide a well-rounded view of your abilities.

Remember, it’s important to ask for permission and keep your references informed about your job search or educational pursuits. Building and maintaining good relationships with your references can serve you well throughout your career.

Reference Page

The Reference page is seperate document from your resume and cover letter.

  • The typical format for the reference is
    • Name
    • Title
    • Employer
    • Phone
    • Email
    • Information on their connection to you
  • For a sample, please click here.