How Do References Work?

by Meredith Winnett

FINALLY! I have Zemanta back!

Yesterday I met with one of my favorite professors and talked about a variety of topics. One of them was asking for a reference.

As you may know, I have begun my job search. I’m not sure if it’s more exciting or overwhelming. In all of my cover letters, I have ended with “References can be supplied upon request”. I just never knew the appropriate time to ask for a reference.

Luckily we had the reference conversation, because I learned I should have asked a long time ago.

I’ll share my lesson with you:

You should contact the people who hope to have reference you as soon as you can to give them plenty of notice. Let them know you’re in the application process, and you may need a reference with short notice.

If you’re emailing them, send them a quick note. Tell them which region you’re applying for jobs in, ask them if they’d be willing to give you a good reference. Attach your resume and inform them that you can supply any job descriptions they may need.

Then wait for them to respond. That’s what I’m most scared of.


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