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In the job hunt, often employers will request a listing of references. References are individuals selected by you who would be able to tell a potential employer about your skills, work habits, or qualifications. References should be listed on a separate piece of paper from your resume and cover letter.

Selecting References

Generally you will be asked to provide a minimum of three references. Good choices are employers and faculty who would be able to attest to your skills and abilities. Other possibilities are advisors, co-workers, or individuals with whom you've worked in organizations or class projects. You might also select family friends who have known you a long time. Have at least five references available as some employers may specify that your references are not to be faculty or supervisors.

Ask your potential references if they are willing to be a reference prior to listing them. Provide them with a copy of your resume so they have an idea as to the skills you are presenting to employers. It reflects poorly on you if your reference writer doesn't remember you or must give a vague or negative reference.

In previous years, references were often asked to write a letter of recommendation. You then provided copies of this letter to employers or the reference writer wrote several letters for you. Although this practice continues, more employers are contacting your references directly through a mailed standard reference form or through a phone call.

Providing Contact Information

If you find that your resume has some blank space, you can make a notation of "References Available Upon Request." A few professions prefer that the names and addresses of the references are at the bottom of the resume.

For the most part, you will provide a separate sheet with your references. Title the page with your name and then use a heading of "References." For your references, list a name, title if appropriate, work address, and work phone number. If your relationship with the reference is more of a personal relationship, you may decide to list home address and home phone number.