1. How to Pick Good References
  2. Writing a Strong Resume
  3. Finishing Tips

1. How to Pick Good References

References should be professional, but that doesn't mean they have to be from a job.

Think of mentors/advisors/coaches and other role models who you have connected with. A reference can come from any field. You can ask a former or current teacher/professor, a coach from a sports team (whether it be competitive of recreational), a leader from a religious organization, a chair from a committee or community organization you have been a part of, or an employer. Choose references who know about your skills and accomplishments and can advocate for you.

When you ask someone to be a reference, give them some information about the program you are applying to, that could be a couple sentences about the job that you write, or a link to an official job description. You should also let them know how they might be contacted (in this case they will receive an e-mail asking them to fill out an online reference form). If you have any specific skills that you think are important to the job, and they can elaborate on those, ask them to talk about them, if it is appropriate.

Give your references enough time to write a good reference. Don't ask them the day before the reference is due. A good rule of thumb is to give them two weeks notice to provide a reference. 

2. Writing a Strong Resume

Step 1: Go to Career Development's Resume Tips page.

Step 2: Connect with Career Development to have your materials reviewed.

Email Your Application

You can always email your application materials to: career-development@willamette.edu. A member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.



3. Finishing Tips


Go over every word in your answers and application materials to make sure they are free from errors. Have a friend look over them for anything that can be fixed or improved upon.

Willamette University

Student Engagement and Leadership

Putnam University Center, Second Floor
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
503-370-6463 voice
503-370-6407 fax

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