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How to Choose The Best Job References

Any successful job search depends on having a great résumé, a personalized cover letter, and an exceptional interview performance. However, many companies struggle to make a final decision between two equally-qualified candidates. In this situation, checking each candidate’s references provides that extra information to inform the interviewer’s hiring choice. Therefore, choosing the best job references becomes critical.

With a goal of finding the job of your dreams, here is some advice on selecting great references. Ultimately, they play a potentially critical role in earning a coveted and lucrative offer. So leverage these insights to make your next job search a successful one.

Remember to Ask For Permission Before Including a Reference

Simply including a former manager or coworker as a reference without contacting them first reveals a lack of professionalism. You might also surprise that colleague, leading them to not respond or even worse: giving you a poor reference. Professional courtesy requires you to contact each potential reference beforehand.

Also get their current schedule and preferred contact method; including it with your résumé. Be sure to detail the reference’s full name, current job title, and your connection to them.

Provide Your Current Résumé to Each Reference

Provide each reference with a copy of your current résumé. Also schedule some time to add some additional details, like the nature of the open position and why you applied. This information helps each reference give more informed answers if the hiring manager contacts them.

Select References Who Understand Your Skills and Abilities

While this seems a bit obvious, select references that truly understand what you bring to the table professionally. This information includes your skills (technical and soft) and relevant experience. Meeting with each potential reference to describe the open position’s requirements provides the ability to tailor their answer appropriately. In short, they are able to present you to the hiring manager in the best possible light.

Previous Managers Make The Best References

Ultimately, the opinion of a former manager carries the most weight to your potential new employer. Naming them as references also reveals that you had a strong working relationship with your former bosses. Because of this fact, try to include at least two previous supervisors among your references. Of course, this rule depends on whether or not you performed well for the manager in question.

Do You Need Help With Your Job Search?

If you need help with your next job search, reach out to the experienced recruiters at Synerfac. As one of the top staffing agencies in the country, we can help take your career to a higher level. Connect with us at your earliest convenience!

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