References are a Key Aspect of the Hiring Process. 

Careful thought and preparation should be given when selecting people who are going to speak on your behalf. You want someone who will provide the best recommendation and is sincere in believing you are a top candidate.

Here are important tips you should consider: 

  • Most employers will ask for 3 references. Ideally the reference will be a previous supervisor who can speak to your skills and work ethic in a positive manner. References can come from employers, volunteer organizations, and academia.

  • Always contact your potential references to gain their permission before using them.

  • Some companies have policies where references can only go through Human Resources or the supervisor can only confirm job titles and length of employment. If your supervisor is limited by policy, try and use a former client or a trusted co-worker.

  • If you have been fired, ask a manager in another department, a co-worker, or have them contact Human Resources directly. The other option is to not use that company for a reference at all.

  • It is helpful to provide the reference with your current resume and a copy of the job posting so they can also prepare.

  • Always thank your references and let them know the outcome. It is important to stay in touch as you may need to ask them again in the future.

Click here to view some more tips and a sample reference letter