Career Center | Alumni | References and Letters of Recommendation | NDU

References and Letters of Recommendation

References consist of a list of three to five individuals that are willing to advocate for your strengths, reliability, abilities, and experience. Typically, one out of three individuals should be a former manager or supervisor. References are added at the end of the CV and boost the credibility of your résumé.


Letters of recommendation consist of written documents that former colleagues, supervisors, managers, or even institutions issue upon your request that testify to the claims made in your CV. When you apply for a job, your employer is likely to require you to submit letters of recommendation; accordingly, you should know the proper method of requesting such a letter.

How do I request a letter of recommendation?

You can request a letter of recommendation via email or through an actual letter. Make sure to include:

  • your full name.
  • the years you have worked at the institution you shared with the recipient of the letter.
  • the position you held at the former institution.
  • the purpose for your request.
  • your contact information in case the recipient has any inquiries.

You can also add any information you think would be beneficial for the letter recipient to know and remind them of the skills you possess that would be relevant to the job you are applying for. 


What if I have no previous place of employment?

If you have never formally worked at a place of employment, you can request a letter of recommendation from an instructor or advisor at your academic institution who is familiar with your capabilities and can vouch for your strengths.


Can I submit more than one type of letter of recommendation in my job application?

Fun fact: many jobs, depending on the position or industry, may request a letter of recommendation from a previous employer, as well as another letter from an academic institution.

If you find that you have strong relationships with both, submitting a diverse range of recommendation letters along with your job application could make you stand out among other candidates!


Resources (OER)

Samples of requesting a letter of recommendation
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