Who should I include?
References are people who can verify your experience. They include current and past employers, professors, advisors, volunteer coordinators, coaches, and/or mentors. You want to include those who are familiar with you on a professional level. Employers typically request three to five references.
How do I go about getting references?
Make contact with those you have determined are familiar with you professionally. Call or meet with each to explain you are starting your job search and would like to ask if they are willing to act as a reference for you. You will want to prepare each reference with a brief summary of the type of positions you seek along with providing them with a copy of your resume so they are familiar with your experience and what you will be providing to employers. Roommates, friends, family members are not typically good references unless you worked with them in a professional manner and they are able to speak of your professional relationship.
When do I present them to the employer?
Do not include references on your resume as they have little meaning in terms of selling/marketing yourself as a strong applicant who can do the job. Provide your references only when requested. When references are requested as part of the application process, include them as a separate document outside of your resume. When they are not requested as part of the application process, they are typically requested upon being considered as a finalist for the position. Be sure your reference page complements your resume and cover letter. Having the same uniform feel and look to each will display you in a professional manner.
What information does the employer want?
Include reference name, title, employer, phone number, best time to be reached, employer address, and email address. If your reference is a former supervisor but has since moved to a new organization, you may want to indicate your relationship to that individual by stating “former supervisor at Company XYZ.” This will help the employer better understand your connection.
Street Address Grand Forks, ND 58203 Phone email@example.com
Professor First Name Last Name, PhD
Department of Marketing
College of Business and Public Administration
University of North Dakota
PO Box ####
City, ST Zip
First Name Last Name
City, ST Zip