Tip Tuesday: References

Welcome back to a new academic year Spiders!  Let’s cut to the chase: it is never too early to start thinking about your references. You know, that list of names and contact information that accompanies most job and internship applications? This one part of the search that you do not want to think about too late!

A few things to always remember about references:

  1. Communication: Your references should be people that you communicate with often and are knowledgeable about what’s currently going on in your life.  Know that a reference is a favor, not an obligation of someone. You should also keep your references up to date with positions you are applying for, and your experiences that relate to the opportunity. It’s important for your references to be prepared for the conversations they may be having during your interview process.
  2. Variety: When you have the ability to provide multiple references, it is a good idea to provide people that can speak about you with a variety of lenses. Think about someone who can speak to your academic abilities (faculty), your work ethic and accomplishments (past/current supervisors or colleagues), and finally someone that can provide a reference about your personality (academic advisor, activity advisor, coach).
  3. Follow Up: If you advance through the interview process, make sure to notify your references. Send a thank you note to show them your appreciation of their time and let them know the outcome of your search.

You should always have three to five references that can speak about your experiences and personality, and this should not include any family members. For many college students this will include faculty and staff members from their institution.

Start thinking today about who could serve as a reference for you, whether it would be for an internship, job or any type of application process you may be going through. If you would like more information about references, make an appointment today to come and speak with a career advisor in Career Services.


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