They’re often friends, coworkers or college instructors. While there may be many options within your life, choose your references carefully. Friends or coworkers who are more likely to speak favorably of you are the best options.
A reference is someone who can describe or confirm your professional experience. Examples of possible references include former coworkers, work or internship managers, professors, coaches, or even heads of organizations you have volunteered with.
Friends can make excellent professional and personal references for your job search.
Hiring managers generally assume your parents can’t give an objective view of your work history or how you’ll behave as an employee, so don’t put them down as references. That goes for all family members, as they will most likely think you’re pretty great, Banul says.
Always ask permission before using someone as a reference during your job search. That way, they can expect to be contacted and will be prepared to discuss your qualifications for a job. You can ask someone to serve as a reference with a formal letter sent by mail or an email message.
As long as you can find a trusted contact who will speak positively about your character, you can supply a reference. Even if you’ve only interacted with someone a few times, they can still act as a reference. Make a list of people you’ve interacted with besides family.
Do employers always check references? Essentially, yes. While it’s true that not 100% of Human Resources (HR) departments will call your references during pre-employment screening, many do. If you’re about to begin a job search, you should expect to have your references checked.
Personal references are commonly provided by teachers, lecturers, group or club leaders, neighbours, friends and family members. Those providing the reference should know you well and be able to give examples that back up statements about your character.
Typically, a professional reference is a former employer. Generally, professionals will not rely solely on one management theory alone, client, colleague, teacher, supervisor, etc. References may provide correspondence that serves as a proof of service, length of employment, achievements, and qualifications.
If you feel comfortable and trust them, you are welcome to list current coworkers as references. Sometimes they may be the most qualified to answer questions about your responsibilities and skills. However, only do so if you feel confident in providing that person’s information.
Your references should be people you have worked for or worked with. Don’t use someone as a reference without asking them first. Do not assume your favorite teacher or former supervisor will give you a reference. Always ask for permission first and ask far enough in advance so they have enough time to say yes or no.
Get written, detailed and signed consent from the prospective employee before approaching a referee. Use a standard reference request letter. Be consistent in the information you ask for in reference requests. Make your offers of employment conditional upon receiving satisfactory references.
Start by going back to teachers or professors you’ve had in college or high school. You could also ask a coach, someone you worked for as a volunteer, or someone who managed a project you worked on. If you really have to dig, you can even ask someone in the community you grew up in or someone you babysat for.
Most employers will call your references only if you are the final candidate or one of the final two. Occasionally the final three or four. Every now and then an employer will check all the people they interview, although to me that’s inconsiderate of the reference.
Candidates should have given permission, generally, for reference checking to be conducted. Reference checkers should not reach out to anyone the candidate has expressly asked not be contacted. Reference checkers should not contact references from a candidate’s current employer without express permission.
EMPLOYERS CAN VERIFY YOUR EMPLOYMENT HISTORY: At the very least, this means that they’ll find out where you worked and for how long, and what your job title was at your former employer.
Most will check at least one of the references you provided and will be fairly thorough in the questions they ask and on the opposite end of the spectrum there will be those who would check out all your references and may also call up your previous employers to ask if you had actually worked there this is especially so …
For candidates who have not been in employment for a considerable amount of time but have had previous employment, then we will require one reference from the last known employer and a character reference from a person of some standing within the community i.e. doctor, solicitor, MP, school teacher etc.
Former coworkers are often the best references, according to Money-zine.com. Though coworkers do not evaluate your work, they can speak to your strengths as a team player. Co-workers whom you specifically helped in the past will most likely welcome the opportunity to sing your praises to a potential future employer.
HOW FAR BACK CAN REFERENCES GO? A common question among job seekers is “How far back can I go to ask people I’ve worked with before to be references for me?” As a general rule the answer is “not more than five to seven years.”
Standard Reference-Checking Protocol
Following that first interview, the employer may check your references, but rarely do they do it before the interview. Payroll services provider ADP recommends that employers wait until they make a conditional offer of employment to an applicant before checking references.