Who Should You List as a Reference?
The individuals you list on your Reference document need to be selected carefully. Do not rush in this decision making process. A current or former manager would be a good choice. Other possible reference options could include: a co-worker, someone who works in your related field, or a teacher. Do not assume that all individuals know how to give a proper reference and know what to say to a potential employer. When you begin your job search, ask individuals if they will be a reference and will give you a good recommendation. Choose individuals who will:
- Share your professional and when appropriate personal accomplishments
- Know your employment history
- Verify and discuss your qualifications
- Return a phone call promptly from a potential employer
- Promote you enthusiastically over the phone highlighting your education, skills, and contributions
Offer to provide your references with a copy of your resume so they can have the information necessary to share with a potential employer.
The Reference List
Once an employer interviews you and determines that you are a strong candidate for the position, an employer will often call your references. Your Reference List should be a one-page document that you bring with you to the interview. This Reference List should include your personal letterhead (which is also used for the Cover Letter and Resume) and contain:
- The reference’s full name
- Job Title
- Company Name
- Company Address
- City, State and Zip Code
- Phone Number
- Email Address
If you haven’t already taken the time to prepare a one-page Reference List, take the time this week to create one. If you would like an extra set of eyes to proofread your Reference List, email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.