Who Should I Ask For a Reference?

March 26th, 2020

When trying to get the technology job offer of your dreams, references do matter. This is especially the case when a company is deciding between two equally qualified candidates. In many cases, a positive report from a reference helps these firms make what they feel is the best choice. 

Considering the importance of quality references, it’s vital that you ask colleagues able to give accurate information on your IT skills and experience. Of course, someone who holds a positive impression of you is also important. So let’s take a closer look a few strategies for choosing references. 

Always Ask First Before Including a Reference on Your Résumé  

When it comes to references, one golden rule still applies. Be sure to ask a potential reference first before listing them on your résumé. Of course, professional courtesy applies in this case, as you don’t want a busy former colleague surprised when asked to answer a few questions about you.  

Additionally, don’t assume you’d get a positive reference without first contacting them, so only reach out to those with whom you enjoy a positive professional relationship. Also provide the person in question information about the position, including the job description and requirements. This helps them better prepare their answers beforehand.  

Choosing Between a Professional or Personal Reference?  

In nearly all cases, you need to include professional references on your résumé. A typical exception to this rule involves recent college graduates. In this case, you want someone who can vouch for your character and intellect. Even in that situation, provide a reference of someone from where you previously worked. If you interned at technology companies in college, a reference from one of those is perfect.  

How Many References Do You Need?  

Companies typically ask for three references as part of your résumé. Create a pool of suitable references so you are able to tailor a specific set of three for the position in question. This also ensures you have extra on-hand if a company wants more than three references. 

Always Send a Thank You Note to Your References  

Be sure to follow-up with each reference after your interviewing is over – even if you didn’t get an offer. This is another way to show the professional courtesy necessary to build a thriving technology career. While an email message suffices, a handwritten note sent through the mail shows an extra touch of appreciation. 

If you need advice about building your technology career, speak with the expert recruiters at Synerfac. As one of the top IT staffing agencies in the country, we know the companies looking for talented professionals. Connect with us soon! 

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