References and Cover Letters

Reference Tips 

  • References should be on a separate page from your resume, but use the same heading and font as your resume 
  • There is no need to give mention to references on your resume 
  • Employers may request professional and/or personal references. Be ready to provide anything they request  
    • At least three (and up to five) professional references. Examples of professional references include former employers, professors, co-workers, fellow club members, coaches, flight instructors or advisors. Try to include some variety in the types of references you include. 
    • Three personal references. These should be individuals who know your skills and traits and ideally, are in positions of authority (even better if they are in the field in which you are seeking work) and will speak of you favorably. Examples of personal references include mentors, friends, friends of the family, friends’ parents, classmates and so on. Do not use family members as personal references. 
  • Always include the reference’s job title along with their work address, phone number and an e-mail address 
  • Be sure to ask permission from a reference before putting his/her name on your reference sheet 
  • If an employer asks if they can contact your references, notify your references that they may be called. Tell them the name of the person or company calling and the job for which you applied. If possible, give them a copy of the job description and a copy of your resume 
  • Keep up with your references. It is important that you check occasionally to make sure all contact information is still correct 

Cover Letter Tips 

  • Research the company before you start writing your letter to understand basic company information, its values/mission and what qualifications are needed for the specific role 
  • Showcase in the letter that research was conducted and why you are suited for the position 
  • Letters should be no more than one page in length 
  • Customize your cover letter to each individual company you are applying to 
  • Describe why you are the fit for the position within the organization 

Samples