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The application process for most fields in business, industry, government, and non-profit will require you to provide a list of REFERENCES rather than to submit written letters of RECOMMENDATION. A separate document that you bring to an interview (or upload/attach along with the resume and cover letter when requested up front), the list of references includes contact information of 3-5 individuals who can speak to your work ethic, professional abilities, and prior achievements. In many cases these will include some of the same people who write letters of recommendation for your academic applications (e.g. your advisor), but you may also want to include others who have seen your work in action, including a supervisor, lab manager, committee member, teaching coordinator, mentor, etc. 


  • Leverage technology to request letters of recommendation through resources such as Interfolio and Chronicle Vitae's "Dossier Service"
  • Request permission to list someone as a reference
  • Ask for their preferred contact information
  • Keep them informed on the status of your applications
  • References should be a separate document unless specifically required to be included on the resume by the application instructions 
  • Writing "References available upon request" is not necessary on a resume since employers know that if they ask you for references you will provide a list
  • Unlike on a resume, references should be included at the end of an academic CV when applying for a specific opportunity

Additional Resources