Preparing a List of References: Five Things You Should Know Worksheet

Job Search Writing – Resume Basics

Practice with this List of References Worksheet that requires you to make decisions about choosing references. By working through ten exercises, you get familiar with the process of reference selection to improve your overall job search writing and preparation.

Instructions

For the first five exercises below, decide if the references named in each is appropriate for the hypothetical situation given by circling yes or no, and give the reason for your choice. For the last five exercises, follow the instructions in each exercise.

Hypothetical situation: You are applying for a commercial loan officer position. You have worked in a bank since the age of 19 and just received your bachelor’s degree in financial management. Before working at the bank, you worked in various positions over the summer that are unrelated to the world of banking. Throughout college, you were heavily involved in campus and community organizations.

  • Reference: the branch manager of a bank you have worked in for three years

  • Good reference? Yes/No

    Reason:

  • Reference: your high school guidance counselor

  • Good reference? Yes/No

    Reason:

  • Reference: your aunt, who works with you at the bank at which you currently work

  • Good reference? Yes/No

    Reason:

  • Reference: the student president of the student finance organization you belonged to in college

  • Good reference? Yes/No

    Reason:

  • Reference: your supervisor from the summer you worked in a basketball camp

  • Good reference? Yes/No

    Reason:

  • Think of the ideal position if you could choose any job you wanted. How many references do you think would be appropriate for applying to the job? Explain your answer.

  • Make a list of five people you could use as potential references.

  • Reference #1:
    Reference #2:
    Reference #3:
    Reference #4:
    Reference #5:

  • For each person you listed in the previous exercise, list something that might say about you that directly relates to your ideal job expectations and responsibilities.

  • Reference #1:

    Reference #2:

    Reference #3:

    Reference #4:

    Reference #5:

  • Using the information from the previous two exercises, narrow your list of references down to three people. Explain why you chose each person.

  • Reference #1:

    Reason for your choice:

    Reference #2:

    Reason for your choice:

    Reference #3:

    Reason for your choice:

  • Why did you choose to omit the two references you left out of the previous exercise?