Writing in notebook with pencil


The select few in your network that can aid or break a job opportunity.


Bolster Your Application

When applying for jobs you should be able to provide a list of at least three-five individuals who can speak about the skills and qualities you possess. Be strategic in selecting these individuals, making the ask, and obtaining the most direct form of contact for the prospective employer to connect with these individuals.

Keep Reading to Learn:

  • How to identify strong references
  • Create a References document to share with prospective employers

Selecting References

It’s important to carefully choose your references. Ask if they are comfortable providing you with a strong, positive reference BEFORE you include them on your list.

You Might Consider

  • Your Advisor or another faculty member
  • Work or internship supervisor (current or previous)
  • Close Colleague
  • Coach
  • Pastor

*Do not ask family members or friends to be references, even if they were your supervisor at one time.

Preparing Your Contacts

Provide each reference with a copy of your résumé and let them know what types of positions you’re applying for. The more specific you can be, the better! Keep your references up to date on the status of your job search, especially when you accept a position!

Creating a References Page

Be consistent

Create a references page, separate from your resume, but using the same header (with your name and contact info) as your resume.


Do not put “References Available Upon Request” on your resume.

Be Inclusive

For each reference person, include full name, title, organization with which the person is affiliated, complete address, phone number and email address.

Fill the blanks

If it is not obvious their relationship to you, you can label how you know the individual.

Spell Check

Make certain you have spelled your references’ names correctly.



Dr. Adam Adamson
Associate Professor of Biology
Faculty Research Advisor
University of St. Thomas
2115 Summit Avenue,
St. Paul, MN, 55105

Stacey Right
Manager, Nordstrom Minneapolis
Former Supervisor
Nordstrom Minneapolis
111 Downtown Street
Minneapolis, MN 55445

Next Steps

  • Draft a References document with the header matching your resume contact information
  • Request a few pairs of eyes to review the content
    • The Career Development Center is here to help