Career Resources


What is a reference list?

A tool used by recruiters or interviewers to validate their overall impression of the interviewee/job candidate. It is presented in list format, consisting of 3-5 professionals that can validate your job title, work ethic, length of service, demeanor, work-based performance, work-based responsibilities or skills.

Who makes a good reference?

  • Typically, individuals that have evaluated your performance and that you have known for more than 3 months, including previous managers, coaches, professors and/or instructors
  • For rare occasions, co-workers, or members of a school-based club/activity would work, as well
  • Exclude family or friends

What is the process?

  • Must contact these individuals beforehand and receive permission before including them on your references list
  • Individuals will bring this document with them to an interview and, if requested, handed to the recruiter or interviewer
  • The list can also be emailed after the interview and if requested

What to include?

  1. Name of your reference
  2. Job title/position
  3. Name of organization
  4. Work-based or professional relationship to you (i.e. Supervisor at ABC Corp.)
  5. Address (optional)
  6. Contact information
  7. For international references, include time zone of reference

For a layout sample, log into Career Connection to download the Reference List Basics handout

More on the Topic! Read about the importance of references in this article, References: The VIP in your Job Search


Need Help?

The Career Development Centre offers students and alumni one-on-one appointments with a Career Coach. Appointments can be made through Advisor Connect. You can sign up for workshops through Career Connection.