References are provided when they are specifically requested.

Select people who have seen your performance on a daily or other regular basis and who can speak knowledgably about your relevant skills and attributes.

References may come from professional positions but also from volunteer experiences if your involvement was substantial.

The people who serve as your references must be able to share success stories about you.

CareerSpots Video

Strong References

More Advice about References

  • Ask permission before listing someone on your reference sheet.
  • List references that are professional, not personal.
  • Organize references on a separate document.
  • Present references only when specifically requested by the employer.
  • When providing references in a document format, use the same heading for the reference page and cover letter that you use for your résumé. When you use the same heading and layout on all documents, you have created a self-marketing packet with a consistent image. The consistent image represents your attention to detail and conveys reliability and professionalism.
  • List the professional name, title, organization where they work, address, business phone, business email. If the contact is no longer in the business in which you worked with them, also indicate the  former title they held and business name where you worked together. 
  • Ask your references if they would like to review a copy of your résumé.
  • Ask if references would like to be notified each time you use them as a reference, or if general notification is sufficient.
  • Let your references know when you have been successful in securing a job and express your appreciation for their assistance.

Review Sample Reference Sheet (PDF)