Who Should You Choose as a Reference?

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While references are not generally included on your resume anymore, the truth is that before you are given any job vacancy you will usually be asked to provide references to speak on your behalf.
If you have been in the job market for awhile, you  ask the last people that supervisors or colleagues you have worked with provide a reference. However, if you have been studying or simply haven’t made a step up the career ladder it can be hard to know who to choose.
Here are some good suggestions that will serve you well:

  1. If you are a recent graduate, or new to the job market, you will need to choose your references carefully. Choosing professors or advisors as a reference is acceptable. If you have never held a job before (i.e. a high school student looking for their first job), ask other career professionals, teachers or coaches who know your character and work ethic.
  2. If you have been involved with community service groups or other organizations, ask the leader of the group/organization to provide you with a reference. You should also remember to include relevant volunteer work on your resume, especially if you are new to the job market, because your involvement shows that you have the ability to work with others to complete projects and achieve goals.
  3. People you have worked for, even if you didn’t realize it. If you had a paper route, babysat for the neighbor’s children or even ran the school snack shop, these are all examples of employment and your willingness to work hard.
  4. Instead of including references on your resume, have a separate reference page (formatted to match your resume) prepared to leave with employers, should they ask when you’re applying. Be sure to have your reference’s phone and email information.

One final tip-always ASK a person to be a reference for you-don’t just put their name and information down. You don’t want a friend/colleague getting a call from your potential employer and then acting like they don’t know what the employer is talking about and/or have no idea what they should be saying on your behalf. Tell your references what types of job you’re applying for as well as well as what company/hiring manager may be calling for them for information. Communication is key in making sure your references give the right impression of you to potential employers.