The e-mail you should send to your references

Have you prepared your references?

It’s likely that an employer— before they extend an offer— will ask you for 3-5 references. These are people who know you in a professional sense and who have ideally been past supervisors.

Here’s an example message:

Dear X:

Thank you for agreeing to be a reference for me. I am attaching my current resume, LinkedIn profile and a link to an article that highlights some of my prior work. I’ve also included a copy of the job description and a link to the LinkedIn profile of the hiring manager. During the interview process, they discussed how important it is to find someone who has been a change agent. Please consider emphasizing my work doing X with them. I’d really appreciate it if you would let me know if they reach out to you.

Thank you again.



Also— be sure to notify references if you accept or decline an offer. They are invested in you and deserve an update.


  • Sarah Johnston

    I’m a former corporate recruiter and industry “insider” who got tired of seeing talented high-achievers get passed over for opportunities because they did not have the right marketing documents or know how to position themselves in interviews. I have relocated multiple times across the country as a “trailing spouse” and have had to execute job searches in completely cold markets (where I literally knew no one!) I have been named a LinkedIn Top Voice in the career space in 2019, HR Weekly’s Top 100 Most Influential People in HR, named the owner of the “best resume writing firm for experienced executives” by Balance Careers and a “top follow” by JobScan in 2019 and 2020.

Sarah Johnston

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