Ready to apply to Peace Corps? Let’s talk references

By Eric Trefney
Oct. 23, 2019

As you make your decision to apply to Peace Corps, it is vital that you include all of the required information needed in order to complete your application. One easy to overlook piece when submitting a Volunteer application are your references.

Peace Corps expects three references to be submitted in your application. Before submitting reference contacts, check with all three individuals to make sure they are able and willing to complete the form on your behalf before submitting in your application. Ensure the references emails and phone numbers are correct before submitting.

What types of references does Peace Corps require from applicants?

Out of three references, the Peace Corps expects at least one supervisor reference. This can be from a current or former supervisor of a paid or volunteer role you held. The two additional references can be: a mentor or professor/academic counselor, co-worker, or a close friend. If you submit a close friend as a reference, it should be someone else who knows you well and who has known you for an extended amount of time. Peace Corps will not consider a family member as a reference, regardless of the relation.

When you discuss your references during the interview, take the advice of your Placement Officer and do all that you can to get your references submitted as soon as possible.

What if I need to change one of my references?

If you need to change a reference, first check with your new reference to make certain that they are able and willing to complete the form and double check you have their correct contact information. After speaking with your reference, email your Placement Officer with the new references name, title, type of reference, email address and phone number. Once this information is received, the Placement Officer will send out a new reference request.

What steps are needed if your original references are not able to complete the reference form in a timely manner or if you want to update references contact information?

In the event that a reference is tardy in completing a reference form, your Placement Officer may email you and ask for a new reference. They may also send a reminder to your reference on file. Placement Officers may send more than one request to your references in order to ensure a timely response.

As your references submit their forms you will receive an email notification when the forms are uploaded into your application portal. To keep the ball rolling on your application process, reach out and remind your reference if you notice you are missing a reference from them.

Your references allow Placement Officers to understand who you are and what skills you can bring to the Peace Corps as a Volunteer. The more proactive you are in this process, the easier it is for your Placement Officer to invite you into Peace Corps service. Remember: your Placement Officer cannot invite you without your references on file.

Ready to start your Peace Corps journey? Connect with a recruiter today.

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