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Reference File Service

Matriculated students and alumni are encouraged to establish a reference file. The file consists of reference letters and a cover letter, which can be sent to prospective employers upon request. The Career Services Office will send five sets of references out free of charge, after which there is a fee of $2.50 for each file mailed out.

Note: Even though you might not plan to use the service now, it is useful to establish a file while you are a student; it can then be updated throughout your career.

Tips for Requesting a Reference

Don't be afraid to ask someone for a reference, but be sure that he or she will say good things about you. Do not list someone as a reference unless you have asked for his or her permission. Follow up with a telephone call if the letter is not written in a timely fashion; people are busy and often forget. With references, quality is more important than quantity. Do not have too many references; three to six is plenty. Make an effort to get recent references (although relevant older references can be used). Keep copies of your references. Bring them to the interview in case you are asked for them. Have telephone numbers and email addresses of references with you. Many employers prefer to contact a reference by telephone or email, as they feel they might receive more valuable information that way. Establish a reference file with the Career Services Office.

Starting a Reference File

To get started, print out and complete the following forms. Please review these materials with your advisor before bringing them to the Career Services Office. Include a resume. (This is for office use only and will not be mailed to employers with your references.)

Cover Page

Authorization Form

Give a blank reference form to each person you are asking to serve as a reference. They may also use letterhead or a separate sheet of paper instead of the reference form.

Reference Form (blank)

Ask the references to send the letters directly to the Career Services Office. Please check your file periodically until all references are in; sometimes, reminders are necessary.

All forms are also available in the Career Services Office.

Return completed materials to:

Career Services Office
Bank Street College
610 West 112th Street
New York, NY 10025