References can be a very important aspect of helping you get a job. Here are some tips!

You should always have at least three professional references.

Do not list personal references such as friends or relatives.Employers want to hear from those within the workplace so they can find out performance-based information.

The best reference that you can supply is a current or past supervisor. This is not always possible if you’re current employer does not know you are looking and in this case be sure to ask trustworthy people. If you can get two of your three references from supervisors, that would be ideal. All references that you provide should be by those you have worked on a one-on-one basis with.

Use references from your employers. If you have worked in more than one position, use some references from your current employer (if possible) as well as previous employers to get a variety. Try to use references from more previous positions if your background is extensive.

Communicate with your references. Discuss with them that you will be using them and only put them down if they have the time and are sincerely interested in helping you. A reference check may take anywhere from 10-30 minutes (depending on the questions asked). There are occasions when we call our candidate’s references for our clients and they never get back to us. If an employer is checking your references and one does not get back to them, this may reflect poorly on you. Also, discuss with your reference to give thorough answers to each question.

Include all contact information. For your reference’s contact information, always include their cell and business phone numbers as well as their email address.

Last but not least, when leaving a job, always ask your supervisor and co-workers if you can use them as references for the future. Also ask those who are significant to write a letter of recommendation as well. Those people would include someone who has worked with you closely, known you long enough, has relevant expertise, and is at a senior level.