Employment references are a very important part of the job search process. Once your resume gets you an interview, and you have made it through the rounds of meetings, the last step is solidifying your candidacy with reference checks. Below are a few things to keep in mind regarding employment references.


1. Be Prepared:

Come to each interview with a list of prepared references typed up in the same format and font as your resume, in case the interviewer asks. Bring multiple copies, just in case.

2. Choose Wisely:

Three references is usually an appropriate number to give. You don’t want to give less than that, because employers may wonder why you can’t come up with three people who can speak to your work ethic, and you don’t want to give too many either. Make sure to include at least one direct supervisor, if not two. This person will be able to give insight into how you follow directions, and take constructive criticism. Providing information about a colleague who worked closely with you is also helpful. He or she will be able to talk about your ability to work in a team and how you interact with staff and clients.

This goes without saying, but make sure to provide only the names of people who will have good things to say about you. If you had an issue with a boss or co-worker at an old job, find someone else to use.

3. Keep in Touch with Your References

Make sure to ask your former supervisors and colleagues if they mind being a reference. Also be in touch with these individuals after a good interview, to let them know that they may be receiving a call soon. You want to make sure the employer can reach your references, as opposed to leaving a bunch of voicemails.

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