Choosing References

Select at least three references with direct knowledge of your job/work/professional performance who can provide honest, objective information about you. Formally ask these people if they are willing to serve as your references during your job search or for your graduate/professional school applications. Provide them with your resume and any relevant information regarding the position/program for which you are applying to your references so they will be prepared when contacted or when they need to write a letter on your behalf.

From Where Good References Bad References
Academic Department Professors Friends
Laboratory Academic Advisors Family
Job/Internship Teaching Assistants Relatives
Community Service Supervisors  
Classes Bosses  
Active Co-Curricular Acts. Directors  

Additional Tips

  • You can choose to add a simple line at the end of the resume “References available upon request” or leave it off.
  • Make sure that your font, paper, and formatting are the same on your reference sheet and resume.
  • Follow up with your references on the status of your job search.

What to Include

  • On a separate page from your resume, cut and paste your resume heading (your name and conatct information).Bucky B. Badger
    1440 Monroe Street
    Madison, WI 53711
    (608) 262-1866
    bucky@wisc.edu
  • Include the following information from your reference: Name, position and/or relation to you, place of employment, complete address, phone number, email John Smith, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
    Department of Dairy Science
    1234 Agriculture Hall
    1450 Linden Drive
    Madison, WI 53706
    Phone: (608) 123-4567
    Email: jsmith@wisc.edu

***Include three references ***See the print version at the top of the page for a sample