Don’t send letters of recommendation or names of references unless the application instructions specify it.
If you are asked for references three is a good number. Choose people who can vouch for your journalism skills and job performance. The best references are supervisors from jobs and internships. If you don’t have three supervisors, then round out the list with a journalism professor or two.
Make sure each person’s name, title, address, phone number and e-mail address are up to date and spelled correctly. If a reference has changed jobs since you worked with him or her, add the person’s former title and workplace in parentheses, so it conforms with your resume.
Never list someone as a reference without asking permission first. (Do you really want the caller to be met with a confused pause or, worse, the irritated response, “He listed me?”?)
Stay in touch with your references and tell them about the jobs you’re applying for. Let them know why you want a particular job so much and what skills you think you’ll bring to it. The more you coach your references, the better they can promote you when an employer calls. To be considerate, do this by e-mail not by phone.