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Letters of recommendations

At some stage you will need to give the names of some people who will provide references on you. In general you need not give the names until you are asked for them - but you do need to give some thought to the matter before you get to that stage.

References tend to be required

  • prior to the final interview and are used as evidence in the selection decision- or
  • after the interview, and are used as final clearance of a person to whom it has already been decided to offer a job. A referee will be expected to provide different types of information - depending on at what stage the information is requested.

Guidelines and Tips

  • Always ask a person(s) if they will act as a referee for you - never use their name without prior approval.
  • Give the person(s) details of the job you are applying for - or outline the types of jobs and the types of organisation you will be applying to.
  • Give the person(s) a copy of the Resume/CV you are using.
  • Choose three or four people with different backgrounds and different relationships with you. Don't just choose personal friends. Always have at least one business referee - and if you have limited business experience - one academic one.
  • Tell them if they are to wait until they are contacted - or if you want them to write to someone now - if the latter give them full details.
  • If you know at what stage the reference is being taken up - tell the referees.
  • Try to choose people who know you, like you, and who will give adequate time to the task ( a very short reference may give a poor impression of you - irrespective of what it says).
  • Write to each referee afterwards - thank them and tell them what happened.
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