It is never too early in your college program to begin thinking about who could be professional job references for you. You will need these references when you are applying for internships, graduate schools or careers after graduation.
Having a list of professional job references is definitely part of an effective job search strategy. However, the names of your job references should not be listed on your resume. This is not what recruiters prefer to see. What you should do instead is create a separate document titled: Job References. This will be submitted with your resume or when requested.
For a really professional look, use the same heading with your name and contact information on your resume, cover letter and Job References sheet.
Include the following for job references
You should have the following information for each of your job references:
– Job title
– Indicate how long you have known this person
– Add only preferred contact information
– Ideal time to contact your job references
Before listing job references
There are a few things you want to do before you ask someone if they can be listed as a job reference for you. First, think carefully about who to ask. Do you know them well enough? Do they know you? What would make them do this for you? Do you have an example of excellence that all of your job references could speak about if contacted.
Some of the HBCU staff on your campus that can provide impressive professional references for you could include:
-Instructors / Faculty
-Job shadow supervisors
-Residence hall director
-Former supervisors in your campus /work study jobs
-Band directors / club advisors
-Career center staff
Two final and important words of caution. First, seek permission from each of your job references BEFORE submitting their names in your application packet. Second, share your resume or application with persons who will give you job references.
If you ask and someone declines, don’t make a big deal out of it. Move on. There are plenty other people willing to support you if you just ask.