References are individuals, selected by you, who tell a potential employer about your skills, work habits, character, and other job qualifications.

Selecting References

Generally you will be asked to provide a three to five references. If a job ad asks for a specific number of references, submit only that number.

Good choices for references are supervisors and faculty who would be able to attest to your skills, abilities, and work ethic. Other possibilities are advisors, co-workers, or individuals with whom you've worked in organizations or class projects.

Communicating with References

Ask potential references for permission prior to listing them. More than a courtesy, asking for permission provides references the opportunity to prepare for such an inquiry and will eliminate those unwilling or unable to give a positive reference for you. Provide your references a copy of your current resume so they know what skills you are presenting to employers.


List references on a sheet separate from your resume, but reflecting a similar look, with the same header on both documents. Under the title, "References," list a name, title, work address, work phone number, and email address for each individual.


Send your references with your resume and cover letter only when requested to do so. Otherwise, bring it with you to the interview.