How to Choose and Use References

How to Choose and Use References

How to Choose and Use References

Your references are often the last hurdle before getting the job offer, and missing information, bad references, or even too many references, can hurt your chances considerably. Having a few good references can be the deciding factor in your getting the job offer. So what are the keys to using job references?

[pullquote align=”left”]First and foremost, choose wisely. Your references needn’t be the ones with the flashiest titles.[/pullquote]

Anyone who can speak of a direct connection involving your skills is the most desirable reference. Even friends whom you are positive think highly of you, which will take the request seriously and be prepared in their answers — even without a briefing. Do, however, make sure you have permission to provide contact information when you are being seriously considered for a position. Typically, three to five references will be enough. Make sure your reference’s information is thorough and correct. Include full name, office phone numbers, and email addresses.

Go here to view the Reference Check Questions

Never list names of references on your resume. References belong on a separate sheet of paper that matches the look and feel of your resume, but is simply titles “References” or “Reference List.” Also, never give references to employers until they request them, but do be sure and keep a list of references with you when interviewing so that you can be prepared to present them when the employer asks.

[pullquote align=”left”]Don’t forget to thank your references once your current job search is complete.[/pullquote]

Some companies never contact any references, some only check the first one or two, and some check all. Regardless, these people were willing to help you, and thanking them is simply a common courtesy. When people put their reputation on the line by serving as recommendations, you owe it to them to make them look good.A  You should also send a thank you note and try to return the favor by helping them somehow.A A  Also keep them posted on their progress; they want to know if they were involved in helping you get your dream job!

In summary, one of the best ways to get your dream job is to influence the hiring decision-maker with strategic testimonials and references.A  When you get the right people to brag on your behalf in the right way, you won’t have to do as much of the bragging yourself!


Dawn Krovicka