Thursday, October 4, 2012

Everything You Need to Know About References

Your applying for a job, the application asks you to provide a list of references in addition to your resume and cover letter. References…
Deciding who put on a reference list can be difficult. When thinking about your future references consider these points:
When should I gather references: Throughout your academic, job, or career experiences you should be collecting contact information for people who could serve as references in your future job search.
Who should they be: You want references that are from diverse pools of experience, for example a chemistry professor, your supervisor at the Brew, or your faculty advisor for the Biomedical Sciences Student Association. Your references should be familiar with your skills, goals, career direction, and achievements. Identify a professor, supervisor, advisor, or coach that you have a relationship with and are in contact on a regular basis. It is never too early to start thinking about you could be a reference!
What makes for a good reference: References should be able to identify personal and professional characteristics that you have demonstrated. It is great if they can speak to how your actions, contributions, and efforts will benefit a future employer. You want the job, so don’t choose someone that only has mediocre things to say about you!
When selecting individuals as references, make sure you TALK with them IN PERSON! This will provide a good opportunity for you to communicate about the positions you are applying for and some of the skills you are planning to highlight. You could say: “I have a few job interviews coming up, could I use your name as a reference?”
It is also important to be respectful of their time, as they have busy lives too. If you need a letter of recommendation, talk with your reference at least a month in advance. Provide them with a resume, a description of the position you are applying for, and a stamped & addressed envelope; this will make the process even easier!
Keep your references in the know; fill them in on the status of your interview (they want to know when they could be contacted).
THANK YOUR REFERENCES! They put in time and effort on your behalf, their recommendation may have even landed you the job!

If you need additional assistance formatting your references for your application, check out the Career Services Center Online Resources (link below) or stop by Holthusen Hall for Walk-In Hours: Monday-Friday 12pm-2pm!

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