Providing references is not just about confirming your skills or qualifications. It’s about finding the recruiter/hiring manager identifying a candidate’s values that are and cultural fit for the organisation. As Referoo highlighted in their recent blog, reference checks aren’t just limited to employment opportunities but are important in other aspects of our lives such as applying for rental properties.
Choose your references wisely
Develop a list of past and current colleagues that could serve you well as references. Ideally, include a mixture of former and current managers, coworkers and subordinates. Choose references that are able to speak to the skills, abilities, qualifications, and other assets that qualify you for a position.
Typically hiring managers request 2-3 references who can speak to your past performance and experience. If it’s a leadership position, they may want to speak to a former and current direct report as well as a subordinate.
If applying for an entry-level role and you’ve yet to obtain much experience, teachers and professors can make ideal references. Similarly, if you’ve had any involvement in volunteering or community work you could consider including a personal reference.
Ask for permission
In most cases, your colleagues will be happy to serve as a reference. However, it is always respectful to ask for their permission first. Never use a reference without asking for their permission!
Additionally, it is wise to keep your references updated as you move through the recruitment process – inform them when or if they may be contacted.
You may also consider providing your referee with a copy of your resume, this will assist them in giving a relevant and positive recommendation to potential employers.
Keep your reference list updated
Add and remove individuals as time passes and you obtain newer, more relevant contacts. Especially if a significant amount of time has passed since you’ve worked or been in contact with them.
If you’re currently seeking a new opportunity, I hope you have found these insights valuable. You can view our current positions page to see roles we are recruiting and set up a tailored job alert to hear about new vacancies that match your career interests.