How to Choose the Best References for Your Job Search

Sure, a great résumé, personalized cover letter, and a standout interview performance all play an important role in any successful job search. However, including a few meaningful references able to vouch for your skills and experience also greatly matters. This is especially the case when a company is deciding between two or three candidates to receive an offer of employment.

Let’s take a closer look at how to choose the best references when you are looking for a great new position. Leverage these insights to give yourself the best chance at a job offer.

Always Contact the Colleague First

Listing a former colleague as a reference before contacting them first is simply unwise and borders on the unprofessional. Remember, they need to take time out of a potentially busy day to provide your prospective employer information about your work ethic and skill set. Simply assuming they would give you a positive reference becomes a leap of faith in this situation.

So make it a point to reach out to the person in question to see if they are willing to be a reference. Also ensure their opinion of you as a professional remains positive.

An Opinion from a Former Manager Carries More Weight

Try to include your former bosses and team leads as references. Naturally, they were in a supervisory position, so their opinion tends to be more compatible with what a potential employer wants from a reference. Once again, make sure any former boss still holds you in high regard before including them.

Include References from Coworkers

All of your references don’t need to be from former managers. Include one or two from colleagues with whom you worked closely. Perhaps you are going after a senior-level or team lead position; so the opinion of someone you helped mentor is a smart inclusion.

Get More References Than You Need

When beginning your job search effort, reach out to multiple colleagues with an eye towards getting at least 6 or 7 to agree to vouch for you. Since most employers only want three references, this gives you the opportunity to tailor the specific references you include based upon the open position. Try to include those from former positions that closely match the requirements of the job in question.

If you need additional advice on your job search, speak with the expert recruiters at Peyton Resource Group. As one of the top general staffing agencies in Texas, we know the companies looking for talented professionals. Connect with us soon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *