Professional references are a very important part of your job search. References give your future employer a small window of insight into what kind of worker you are. That is why picking good references is vital to your success in the job search.
Picking a Reference
The best types of references are bosses or supervisors: people who managed and saw your daily workflow. Co-workers and other colleagues at past jobs also make good references. Pick people that know your job well enough to explain it to someone else. It does not help your case if your reference can’t remember exactly what you did.
Teachers, instructors, and other school administrators can also make good references for those of you who may not have as much professional experience.
In general, a good reference is someone who can speak to specific things about you, including: your work ethic, your skills & key abilities, your past experience (regarding education or work history), or another key attribute that would set you apart in a positive way from the competition.
Other references to use may include local politicians you have worked in conjunction with, businesses owners or managers, customers you’ve interacted with in an especially positive way, and clergy or higher-level church officials of your local house of worship.
Explain the Situation
Now that you have some idea who is open to being a reference, you’ll want to ask permission and explain the situation.
Whenever you use someone as a reference you will want to first ask if it’s okay with them. If they decline, don’t be discouraged. You want your references to be overly willing to be your reference.
Once you’ve asked and gotten permission, you’ll want to give your new reference some idea about the types of jobs you will be applying for. You may even want to send them your resume so they can get an idea of the types of skills you are wanting to emphasize.
Knowing the details about your job search allows your reference to target the information the prospective employer wants to know. And while you don’t want to go overboard and suggest what your reference should say directly, it’s important to be on the same page. This will lead to a smoother application process for you.
Using the References
For each reference you’ve asked you should have a few pieces of information to give employers. This includes the reference’s name, telephone number, e-mail address, employer name, and job title.
Make sure that you are updating this information with your references throughout the year. Your references should be easily accessible to employers and their provided information should match to give you credibility.
Once you have this information