Reference List

Who Can I Ask to Be a Reference?

  • A reference should be someone who can attest to your ability to do the job, your professionalism, your work style, your performance, time management, and punctuality.
  • References can be former or current employers, faculty mentors, campus staff or advisors, coaches or anyone in a professional position.
  • Family, friends, and peers do not count as references.
  • Choose people that you have known for at least three months and who are well-versed in your background and accomplishments.
  • Be sure to ask your reference’s permission before using their name for the list and ask them whether they are willing to give a strong, positive recommendation.
    • Tell them about the position you are applying to and give them an updated resume.
  • You will need 3-5 references for your list.

How to Format a Reference List

  • References should be on a separate piece of paper from your resume.
  • Be sure the format and style of the list match your resume and cover letter.
    • Use the same header and contact information as the top of your resume.
  • List all references in the following format:

Phone Number

  • Double-check that you have the most recent contact information for each reference.

How to Submit a Reference List

  • Different employers will ask for a reference list at different times. Some may never ask for it, others will ask for it as part of your application packet, and others may ask for it after your interview.
    • If the employer asks for the reference list in an application packet, it should come after your resume.