Who to ask for a reference?

08 Sep 2021

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While applying for a job, it is necessary to provide a list of references who can attest your work experience and skills in your previous organization. The people who become your references are ex-colleagues and managers. Here are a list of pointers you should remember when choosing people to put in a good word for you.

Key points to remember while listing out references

A majority of the companies ask for some references who know your professional front and personal front. There are no rules in the selection of references, but it is good to pick from people who have known you for a very long time personally, best buddies in your previous company and your ex-managers or ex-supervisors. Their feedback will help your current employer gauge your professional aptitude, skills, as well as characteristics. The personal references that you provide should never be your family members or relations.

Contacts make your good references

Whenever you are working for a company, it is important to maintain a good relationship with people with whom you interact every day. It allows you to add them to your trusted list of references when you decide to move on. They can be your colleagues, managers, clients, vendors, or customers too.

Ask for the consent

They should be well-informed in advance before giving names as references in your interview. Their consent is the most necessary part. Ask them before you write their name as references in your resume. If the list of references given by you fails to respond to the calls or messages from your current employer or if they provide a bad review about you, these are some of the unpredictable situations. Hence, it is preferable to keep a list of additional references too.

Keep your references updated about your skills and experiences

It is important to keep your references updated about your skills and experiences. The person should be able to explain why you are most suited for the job. Help him prepare for the questions he might face about you.

Choose people who know your work well

Choose people who know your professional experience very well. Colleagues are the best option as they can explain the duties and responsibilities handled by you in the company. This gives a clear idea about your work and other details to the current employer.

Time is an important constraint

The references should be able to respond to the calls or messages by the previous employer on time. If they miss their calls, they should be able to give a call back and answer the inquiries. They should have enough time to speak so that your current employer gets a good idea about you and your work experience.

Ask for letters of reference from all your references

You can ask your references to provide letters of reference. You can include the reference letters with your resume which adds more value to your candidature. With reference letters in hand you need not go back every time you are applying for a new role. Do check with the references if they have any updates on the contact numbers so that you can update the same with your employer.

Provide your references with the job description of the role you are applying for

Do provide your references with a copy of the job description you’re applying for. It should include your main responsibilities and role in the company. If your references know in advance about your role they can be prepared for a conversation.

References should have positive things to say about you

The employers contact the references as a background check of the candidate. When they do that, it means you are almost there. So, you must select the references that you believe will say good things about you. However, the references should be comfortable speaking positive things to your current employer.

Do Follow-ups always

If any of your references receive calls to enquire about you, you must let them know about your employment status. If you are selected, please share your good news and send them a thank you note. If you are not selected, please do not forget to thank them. Do let them know that you can be contacted as a reference for them in reciprocation for the help you received.

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