Tips on Selecting References

References are crucial to securing a job because what they tell an employer can potentially make or break your chance at a position within the company. Therefore, it’s very important you select your references carefully.
Here are some tips for preparing and selecting referees.
  • Make sure you get your reference's approval before giving their details to an employer. No-one likes to be sprung upon with questions without preparation. This could end in disastrous results for you.
  • Always put forward a work related reference. After all, you are being assessed by what you are like as a colleague and an employee, not as a friend or a sibling.
  • Make sure your reference is going to give you a glowing referral. Don’t put someone forward just because they were your manager or boss. It’s better to put someone forward who has less authority that will talk positively about you.  
  • Make sure your reference’s contact details are current and up-to-date. If an employer can’t contact your references easily they may suspect they are false or simply give up. Provide more than one contact number plus an email address if you can.
  • Let your references know you have applied for a job, or had an interview, so they can be prepared. Give them details about the position and what is required of you. That way the reference can be ready when the employer calls. The more preparation your referees have the better the outcome will be for you.
  • It is important to keep in regular contact with your references so that the relationship remains strong. Keep them informed on your job search activities and be sure to express your appreciation for the time they put into your references, regardless of the outcome. Let them know when you secure a role and remain in contact to update them on your progress.
For more career advice that gets you the job, make sure to read through how to write a winning resume and how to address selection criteria.