Potential employers will contact job references as part of the hiring process. During the job search your biggest concern is the quality of these employment references from your past employers.
Find out how to optimize your employment references. Use the sample references as a guide. These reference resources will ensure your references work for you.
For job seekers, it is important to start planning and preparing your employment references in advance of your job interview and not leave it until the interviewer asks you for a list of references.
Who to ask for a job reference?
Job seekers should strategically consider who to ask to serve as employment references and who will be best able to answer the reference check questions that a prospective employer asks.
Ideally you want to organize about three to five references that meet the following selection criteria:
Get their agreement
Before listing the person as a reference check, contact them in advance and get their permission. It will reflect very badly if the prospective employer contacts them and the reference is taken by surprise.
Ask the reference "Do you feel you are familiar enough with my work performance to give a valid reference and answer questions about me?"
Or send an email requesting they act as a reference for you.
If they are comfortable with acting as a job reference check verify all their details you need to put on your job references list including correct spelling of full name, current position and title, phone numbers, email address.
Follow up with an email thanking them for agreeing to be your reference. Send it with a copy of your resume so they are familiar with the information that the prospective employer will be asking questions about. Keep them up to date with details of your job interviews. This helps them to be prepared for the phone calls or emails they may get.
Ask for an employment reference letter
You can ask your references to each write a letter of recommendation that you can use as a ready-made reference to give the interviewer.
This letter will also give you a good idea of the sort of responses they will give when they are contacted by phone for more information.
Be aware that a potential employer will usually not consider a letter of recommendation as sufficient but will follow up with a verbal reference.
Use this sample list to format your references list properly.
Find out about the employment background check
Job Interviews > Job References