Many of you will be asking academic staff for references in the coming months, for jobs, internships, PGCEs, MA applications, funding applications, and the like.
We are generally more than happy to prepare these for you. These are prepared in a personal capacity and you must ensure that you have our agreement to write a reference. It may be the case that an academic cannot write for you, for a variety of reasons.
Furthermore, there are some things you should remember:
Please ensure that you make your request in good time, allowing at least two weeks for the completion of the reference (and more if possible). You should check the availability of your desired referee with regard to these deadlines.
You should consider who is best to write you a reference - sometimes your Academic Advisor, for instance, will be better placed to comment on your academic career and progress as a whole than a seminar leader that you get on with well. Better, fuller references will be the result of a positive working relationship that has been built up over some time.
Please also ensure that you furnish the member of staff with the details of the post/ position/ course, and some information about your application (ie. a CV, or the like).
If there is anything particular you would like mentioned (extra-curricular activities, dissertation topics, fine results, etc), then you should let us know these too so that we can fold them into our letters of reference and recommendation.
For those of you looking for jobs after University, the Careers service is excellent and will support you in a variety of ways, from vacancy hunting to interview training: http://www.careers.manchester.ac.uk/students/