Finding a Summer Job - Step 5: Prepare Your References

Step 5: Prepare Your References

Most employers will require at least two to three references – people who can vouch for you. If possible, at least one of them should be a previous work supervisor. Others may be a teacher, colleague or personal reference. It is not generally recommended to list family members unless you really need to, or if they have experience (or clout) in the field you are applying to.

In any case, make sure you get permission from each of your references to use their names - well before a potential employer may be contacting them. It is wise to remind previous supervisors about the length of time you worked with them and a bit about your job responsibilities so they are able to give you an accurate reference. For other references, quickly review what they might say about you and make a few suggestions about skills or achievements you’d like to have mentioned, if they’re willing to.

Hold on to your reference page until asked for it by a potential employer. When writing down each reference, remember to include their full name, title, company name, address, and phone number. Make sure your references are listed on a page separate from your résumé.

When leaving an employer, it is advisable to ask them for a reference letter, as there is no guarantee that your previous supervisor will still be there when you need a reference. It is also a good idea to keep in touch with previous supervisors and colleagues for networking purposes throughout your career. Remember to thank your references for their assistance and keep them updated on how your job search is going.

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