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5 Tips to Get Your References Right

Can’t spell “preferences” without the word “references” right? From a new graduate to a grizzled veteran of the employment process, landing a job preference that is more to your liking may boil down to another ingredient - the quality of references an applicant can give.

With the right tips about references supplied by PeopleFoundry’s Michelle Joseph, here’s hoping your job search can lead to favorable results, serving as a case of “It’s about who you know, not just what you know” in a positive light, of course.

Here are some of Joseph’s pointers:

​1. Be professional by keeping your references professional too. Former teachers can be a good source of references. It pays to have been able to forge relationships with college faculty or school advisors connected to your degree. Former or current employers are okay to include in your reference list as well. Any work experience that speaks of tenure, experience, and capabilities and talents can be cited.

​2. Avoid putting down family and friends as references.

​3. Enlist a reference you are sure of giving you a positive recommendation/feedback.

4. Ask first through a phone call or email a prospective reference if they are willing to serve in the particular role.

​5. Regardless of how your interview turns out, express gratitude to your references. They are already and will be part of your network so best to nurture the relationship.

Are you concerned that your reference stock is in short supply? Joseph suggests replenishing your collection of references through the following avenues: career fests and/or networking events organized by your university, volunteering, and informational interviews. Are you excited to take the steps to ensure you’ll get helpful references? Having references that speak of you glowingly is another springboard that can help your chances of securing an amazing job.

Image by Alexandra Daley