References Available Upon Request
A solid personal reference can be the crowning jewel to your job application. A reference is typically the final step in the interview process, as it will solidify your skills, personality, and overall achievements. It is a way for a hiring manager to check with other individuals about any missing information or validation about you, as an employee. It is important NOT to state, “References Available Upon Request” at the bottom of your resume. Be sure to have your references readily available at your interview so that your potential employer can access the references with ease.
1. Ask for Permission
It may seem trivial, but it is essential to ask your potential reference for their permission to use them as a reference. It will avoid any awkward conversations with your potential employer, while giving them notification, if the interviewer decides to contact them.
2. Choose the Right Reference
You want to choose a reference that is professional, such as a former supervisor or a former co-worker. Choose someone you trust in your professional network, but do not necessarily discount friends as a reference. If you decide on a friend as a reference, be sure that they can speak to your personality, ambition, and aspirations. It is best to keep the references professional, while listing at least three to five references.
Choose individuals that will speak positively of you and your skills. It may seem obvious, but do not choose individuals that may speak unprofessionally of you.
Explain how you are connected to your reference, provide their contact information, and respect their privacy. Do not hand out their personal contact information, but provide the potential employer with their work telephone or work e-mail.
3. Prepare Your References!
You should not only alert your references that you are using them within your resume, but let them know that they may be contacted by a potential employer. Reach out to your reference and explain what position you are applying for, so that they can connect their thoughts to your potential employer.
Sending a reminder to your reference is imperative, while providing them with as much information as possible. Send your reference a copy of your resume as well. Let them know who will be contacting them and why. It is best to make sure that no stone is left unturned and prepare your reference as best you can.
4. Thank Your References
It is essential and polite to thank each of your personal references with a thank you note. The reference’s conversation with your potential employer will help to solidify your personality, skill set, and achievements. If the reference’s conversation with your potential employer ends on a positive note, this will truly benefit you in the long run. Your references will be taking time out their schedule to speak about you, which is quite a favor.
Be sure to let them know if you choose to use them again as a reference.
Do not forget to be courteous, stay in touch with each of your references, and inform them how you are progressing in the job hunt.