References and Thank Yous
Some employers may ask for references when applying to jobs or after an interview. Don’t use space on your resume for references – if and when an employer is ready, they will ask for them. The same holds true for letters of recommendation. You may have them available, but you do not need to include them unless asked. Letters of recommendation are rarely asked for as a part of the hiring process. Having 3-5 people listed as references is ideal.
Whom should you ask?
- Selecting people that have supervised your work in extracurricular activities, volunteering, jobs, and internships are appropriate
- Utilize Faculty and staff members that you have connected with while at Notre Dame
- Personal references should not be family members and should only be used if they can speak to your skills and talents that would be applicable to an employer
- Obtain approval from people you are planning to list as references and provide them with background information on the position for which you are applying
How do you provide the information?
- Have a prepared Reference Page that is formatted like your resume (same font and style) with you when you interview, otherwise be prepared to provide it at a later date
- Provide each contact’s name, job title, company name, work address, phone number, and email address
- Send each of your references a thank you note when your job search is over
Follow-up is critical during the interview process. A thank you letter, restating your interest in the position and the organization, should be sent within 24 hours of each interview, and should be sent to each person that you spoke with. Be sure to ask for business cards or ask the person arranging the interview for the correct spelling, titles, business emails, or business addresses of each person you met. Make each note somewhat different, and try to reference something you discussed in the interview. Take no further action until at least one week beyond the date when they said they would contact you. At that time, a phone call to see if a decision has been made is appropriate.
Sample Wording for a Thank You Letter (use same formatting as a cover letter)
It was a pleasure to meet with you to speak about the Marketing Representative position at ABC Organization. I especially appreciated talking with you about ….
If given the opportunity, I am confident I can make valuable contributions to your organization. Thank you for the time you took to interview me. I look forward to hearing from you about this position.