Requesting People for your Reference List
Write emails to at least 3 contacts, preferably former employers, requesting if you can list them as references. Your email request might look something like this:
John: With your permission I would appreciate being able to list you as a reference that can speak to my qualifications, skills, and abilities. My resume is attached along with a job description for position I’m being considered for. Please let me know if you prefer not to be listed. Thanks for your help! – Carol Smith
Requesting a Letter of Reference
Sometimes bundling reference letters with your resume can be helpful. Your email request might look something like this:
Lisa: Would you be willing to provide a reference letter for me? I am in the process of seeking employment and a positive reference from you would enhance my prospects of securing interviews. My resume is attached along with a job description of the type of work I’m targeting and a reference letter template. Please let me know if there is any other information I can provide to assist you. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (555) 545-5445. Thank you! – John Smith
Reference Letter Template
Dear _____________ (or To Whom It May Concern),
Explain your connection to the person you are recommending, including how you know them, and why you are qualified to write a reference letter to recommend employment or graduate school.
Write specific information on the person you are writing about, including why they are qualified, what they can contribute, and why you are providing a reference letter. If necessary, use more than one paragraph to provide details.
When writing a letter for a particular job opening, include information on how the person’s skills match the position they are applying for. Ask for a copy of the job posting and a copy of the person’s resume so you can target your reference letter accordingly.
Write a brief summary of why are you are recommending the person; state that you “highly recommend” the person or you “recommend without reservation” or something similar.
Offer to provide more information, and include your phone number and email address.