How to Select the Right References for Your Internship Application

Mon, Jul 16, 2012

Internship Resume

Just like with real world jobs, good internships are highly competitive. Especially these days with the economy in a major slump, people are being forced to change careers and you could face competitors that already have years of work experience and knowledge under their belts. Don’t let it scare you away, just be sure your internship application stands out from the pack and then make sure you have the best references possible. Since you need your references to back up everything you’ve boasted about yourself on your resume and the application, you should take time selecting your references. Here are some tips to keep in mind when deciding whom to list as references.

Possible references can include current and past bosses, co-workers, youth group leaders, religious leaders, teachers and professors, coaches, or long-time family friends. Anyone you feel could emphasize your personality, your motivation and drive, and your professionalism is a great choice. You want to give your potential employer a good idea of who are you outside of your resume, cover letter, and interview and that’s where your references come in.

Once you’ve carefully thought out whom to list, be sure to let those people know you’re listing them and make sure it’s okay with them. To best prepare them for the phone call, you may also want to provide each with your resume, cover letter, or a copy of the application you filled out. If you decide to send them the application, be sure to make a few copies of it before you send it to your potential employer.

Generally, you’ll want to ask permission of anyone you’d like to list before you give out his or her information. It’s not a good idea to let your reference get surprised by the phone call and be unprepared to speak on your behalf. It’s also possible that someone you’d like to list won’t feel that they know you well enough to provide a positive and honest recommendation.

If you’re asked for references in your interview, congratulations! It’s a good sign. However, don’t give the list right away. Instead tell your interviewer you’ll provide them the list within 24 hours so you can contact each reference again and let them know to expect a call. Once you’ve contacted your references, send your interviewer a list with each reference’s name and contact information. Below each name, you’ll also want to include a brief paragraph about your relationship and about which skills and attributes each can speak. Usually, three references will suffice. You may want to secure a couple more references so that when the time comes to give out names, you’ll have options depending on the position.

Your career in medication therapy management, health care administration, fashion, business, or the arts is waiting just around the corner. All you need to do is complete your internship that you’ve landed it by selecting the best references for your application. Good luck!

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