SPU Career Center


Center for Career and Calling

Referrals & Reference Letters

Faculty are often asked to serve as a reference for students during their job and graduate school search. Explore the "tips" and links below for information on writing reference letters and providing referrals to employers.

10 Tips for Providing References

Rochelle Kaplan, Legal Counsel for the National Association of Colleges and Employers

  1. Obtain written permission from the student
  2. Discuss your reference with the student
  3. Provide only information based upon first hand knowledge
  4. Avoid personal matters
  5. Nothing is "off the record" or "confidential"
  6. E-mail is no different than any other form of written communication
  7. Base personal opinions on fact; don't guess or speculate
  8. Respond to/ask for job related inquires/information
  9. Follow your institution's policies regarding reference letters
  10. If you need to change/withdraw the reference, advise the student

Other Resources




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