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Section 2.5.6

References and Letters of Recommendation

Follow standard procedures in obtaining references, and useconventional formats in writing lettersof recommendation.

References are an essential component of almost all admissions, grant, and employmentprocesses. Managers and other individuals in any selectionprocess need evaluations from individuals who have had long and close contact with applicants inorder to assess accurately their abilities and accomplishments. The number of recommendationsrequired by employers and universities usually ranges from one to five, with three being the mostcommon number.

There are two basic forms of references: oral and written. Most often, oral references areconducted by telephone. The name, professional title and affiliation, address, and phone numberof each reference are included in a list of references, which is often mentioned in résumés and applicationletters but always kept separate from them.

Give your list of references to a potential employer or to a selection committee only when it isrequested. Your recommenders are doing you a favor. If you subject them to too manyintrusions, you may find them less willing to help you in the future.

Written letters of recommendation are more formal. Often, they are written to a specificindividual for a specific position. In other cases, however, letters of recommendation are writtenfor a general type of job or for graduate school and are included in a collection of letters ofrecommendation called a dossier.

See Obtaining References and Letters of Recommendation forguidelines in developing a list of references and obtaining letters of recommendation.

For guidelines on writing letters of recommendation, see WritingLetters of Recommendation.

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## References Recommendation Letters ##
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