Criminal Justice Degrees Guide

Finding References in Preparation for the Job Hunt

Your senior year is winding down and you have not really even considered what you want to do after graduation. The one thing you do know is that you need to find a job. This is a familiar position for thousands of students every spring. You think that your resume is pretty simple to construct, but you have not reached out to anyone for a letter of recommendation. You may have just found out that you need references. Employers take references very seriously as this is their chance to hear from someone besides you why are you so great.

You may be asking yourself, who should I ask for a recommendation? You may not have much work experience, except for the summers you work in the ice cream shop back home. Keep in mind that employers typically will ask for three letters of recommendation, which makes this an even more daunting task. The first person you should consider is a professor with whom you had a strong relationship. A professor who truly knows you as a student can reference skills that will translate nicely into the workplace. A professor is also someone whose word can be trusted by a hiring manager, as they are willing to vouch for you. By doing so, they are putting their reputation on the line.

If you had an internship during your college years, ask your supervisor to write a letter on your behalf. This may be even more helpful than one from your professor. Having your supervisor speak highly of your work in the field shows that you already possess the necessary skills to be successful in the real world. If you are applying to a job in the same field as your internship, having your supervisor from a similar company recommend you holds even more weight. The person who agrees to write a letter for you will often ask if there is anything specific that you want them to address. If you know a lot about the job for which you are applying, have them pump the skills that you think the employer would want to see in an applicant.

While supervisors and professors are great references, there are many other people that would be impressive to hear from. Think about coaches, people you volunteered with, and deans from your school that can speak to your character. Go ahead and ask the manager of the ice cream store for a reference as they can attest to how well you interact with people. Leave no stone unturned when it comes time to gather these references.

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