How to Select the Best Professional References

Putting together a resume and reference list for a job application takes time. You should not throw something together in an instant simply to meet a job application deadline. Take the time to make sure your documents are visually appealing, do not have any spelling mistakes, and that you have a strong list of professional references. These references could turn out to be more important than your resume – based on what they say about you as a worker and a person.

Reference Must be Seen as Credible

Any professional reference you list for a job will need to be seen as credible in what they do. This means that you should never use a family member or a friend as a reference on a job application. They hold no credibility with the potential employer. You could have a short list of possible references due to a lack of work experience. If this happens, consider using someone you worked with while volunteering or a former teacher from college as a reference. These references will be more credible than a family member or friend.

Reference Worked Closely With You

Another tip to keep in mind when selecting professional references is that you should have worked closely with the person whom you want to list as a reference. This means that your reference should be a former subordinate, former co-worker or former manager who can speak about your work ethic, personality and attitude at the office.

Reference Should be Articulate

The reference you choose will represent you to the employer. It is a good idea to make sure they are articulate. If they stumble over questions about you as an employee, it might look like they are trying to think of good things to say about you. This can be a major detriment to your chances of landing a job with the company. You need to choose a reference who not only knows you as an employee, but can also articulate how well you performed at your previous job.

Reference Should Want You to Succeed

You should also choose a reference who truly wants you to succeed in your career. If you pick someone who does not want you to succeed, it is possible that they could sabotage the conversation with the employer, costing you the job. When you pick a reference who wants you to succeed, it will show in their discussion of you as an employee and a person.

Choosing professional references for a job application cannot be taken lightly. They could mean the difference between receiving an offer of employment and continuing a job search. Contact Halpin Personnel today to discuss references with an experienced recruiter.

 

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