Resumes and cover letters win interviews; excellent references can win job offers.

  • Build professional relationships with potential references before you need them
  • Choose people who know your work well, such as professors & work supervisors
  • Request permission to use them as a reference
  • Confirm best contact information for reference
  • Give references a copy of your resume
  • Provide summary of the types of positions and employers you are targeting
  • Ask employer if your references will be contacted by phone, email, or other online survey form
  • Email your references to re-confirm the request for them to serve as a reference
  • Share the name of the potential employer and how they should expect to be reached

Example email:

Dear Dr. Smith:

Thank you again for agreeing to serve as a reference in my full-time job search.  I completed a successful 2nd round interview with ABC Company on Wednesday, and the company indicated they would be contacting my references soon.  Please watch for an email from JobSkills Survey this week containing a link for an online reference survey.  I appreciate your timely response to their request.


Jay Hawk