Choosing the right professional job references
According to our research over 80% of hiring managers use reference checks as part of their selection process. Your job references are important in confirming the skills, motivation and attitudes included in your resume and demonstrated during your interview. Ideally, your referee is someone you have reported to in a professional capacity.
Choose a job reference who can confirm:
- Your employment and responsibilities
- Your strengths and possible areas for development
- The type of people you work well with
- The management style that suits you best
- Your ability to work unsupervised and as part of a team
- Your capacity to take direction, and most important
- Your suitability for the role you are seeking
Typically character references and written references are not as valued or requested.
Job reference tips
- Always have your job reference’s permission before giving their contact details to a prospective employer. Your referee should never be caught off guard by an unexpected phone call, as this can work against you.
- Make sure your referees know about the role you have applied for so they can focus on your relevant skills and strengths.
- It’s good practice to contact your referees after the interview and let them know how it went. This way they can emphasise your key strengths or skills relevant to the job.
- Every time you change employers, make an effort to ask for a reference from your manager or co-worker. This enables you to create a file of recommendations from people who you may not be in contact with in the future.
- Keep your job references up to date and let them know where your job search stands. This keeps them on guard and be better prepared for a potential call. When you become employed, send a thank you note to anyone who provided you with a reference.
- Keep your business network up to date, LinkedIn is a great way to do this. Maintain continual contact with your references and if you feel it's appropriate ask them to write you a reference that you can post to your LinkedIn profile too.