References are usually included in the job interview/application process and should be formatted like your resume. Include your relationship to the reference and their contact information. 

Most employers will ask for a list of references as part of the job interview or application. References are important to employers. You can market yourself in whatever way you want, but a recommendation from an outside source is key to showing some of the characteristics and skills that may not be as effectively conveyed on paper. 

When creating a references page, use the same heading and format as your resume. Also be sure to include your relationship with the reference. 


Choose the right professor, employer, or supervisor. Ask yourself: Does this person know my name? Have I done quality work in their course or organization? Does this person respect me? 

Prepare your email request at least 5-6 weeks before the due date. Don’t wait until the last minute. 

Address the email properly. You should use their formal title in almost all cases. 

Use “Reference for [your name]” as the subject line. 

Start the first paragraph by stating what you want: “I am writing to ask if you would be willing to be a job reference for me.” Do not keep him or her guessing. 

Outline your relationship with the professor, employer, or supervisor in the following paragraph and point out why you have asked them specifically. Tell a little about yourself and why you are interested in the job, scholarship, or internship for which you need the reference. 

Give them the details. If they need to provide a letter, where does the letter need to go?  When do you need it? 

Close with information on how you will follow-up. 

Thank them immediately, whether or not they agree to be a reference. 

10 If you are fortunate enough to secure the job, send a handwritten thank-you note.