References upon Request

by Marlena Barber, Head Editor, INALJ Tennessee

References upon Request

marlena barberWhen I was in undergrad, my advisor recommended adding “References upon Request” to the end of our resumes.  In between that time and graduating with my MLIS, that common practice had changed. Internship and full time positions frequently come with online applications and ask for the names and contact information for three to five references. When I was applying for internships, I asked for recommendations individually for each position.  By the time I was applying for employment, my approach had changed.

When it became time for me to apply for full time work, I let my references know that I was beginning to look for full time work related to my degree and asked each if they would be comfortable being a reference for me.  I selected people who could speak to my relevant experience.  After they agreed, I thanked them and told them I would keep them posted as to when a company asked me for an interview. When that happened, I then emailed my references to share that news in case they would soon be contacted.  In the emails, I related their knowledge of my work with the job description.  I sent them the position information and my current resume.

I think if you share with your references the type of position you are applying for, it may help them to speak about the relevant things about your work and experience with your potential employer.  After I was offered the job, I sent thank you cards to each of my references.  A card could not say enough for their words that helped me begin my new life as a librarian.

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