Email Message Example Requesting a Reference For a Job

Copyright Stockbyte/Getty Images

Who and how you ask for a job reference is important. You will want to select references who can portray your qualifications in the best possible light. It's also important to have a list of references who will respond to reference requests in a responsive and timely manner.

Here's advice about who to select as a reference for a job.

Ask for Permission from the Reference

After you've narrowed down your list of the best possible references for your job search, it's time to ask for permission to include those individuals as references.


Review these tips for how to ask for a reference, and advice on what to say to be sure the reference you get is going to be a good one.

What to Include in the Email Message

Each email or letter should include your connection to the reference, and provide an explanation as to why they would make an ideal reference. Be sure to include your contact information, so your reference can ask additional questions.  

Including a copy of your resume and details on the types of job you're interested in, will provide the reference writer with the information they need to write an effective recommendation letter. The more information you can give the person, the easier it will be for them to write a compelling letter endorsing your qualifications.

If you need the reference by a specific date, mention it. Do give the person you're asking for a reference as much notice as possible. It can be time consuming to write a good reference and you don't want them to have to rush to get it done.

Review Message Samples

Here is an email message example asking a former colleague or manager to provide a reference for employment for you. Also see below for more sample letters requesting a reference.

Be sure to put your name in the subject line of the message. Letting the reader know who the message is from and what it is about will increase your chances of it being opened and read.

Email Message Example Requesting a Reference For a Job

Subject: Paul Katcher - Reference Request

Dear Joan,

I am in the process of seeking a new position as a software architect, and am hoping that you will provide a reference for me. Having worked with you for many years, I believe that you can provide potential employers will information about my skills that will enhance my chances of getting the job.

I have enclosed an updated copy of my resume. Please let me know if there is additional information that you would need to act as a reference in my behalf.

Thank you very much for taking the time to consider my request.


Paul Katcher

More Reference Letter Samples
Sample reference letters and recommendation letters, letter samples for character references, and letters asking for a reference.

How to Request a Character Reference
Looking for your first job? Concerned about the references your employer might give you? Consider using a character reference (personal reference) in addition to or as an alternative to employment reference letters.

Reference Articles and Advice

Continue Reading...