If you are looking for a job, making sure you have a list of references is incredibly important. Your reference materials are one of the biggest ways a potential employer will gage your performance in the workplace, and consequently this list of references could greatly impact whether or not a potential employer believes you are the right employee for their company.
When gathering your list of references, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Start preparing your list of references before you send out your resume. A last minute attempt to put references together can lead to less relevant and less coherent recommendations. Employers expect three to five references. It’s a good idea to line up more than you need and then choose the most pertinent ones for each prospective position. Be careful when choosing which references to use from your list of references. Choose your references based on their ability to provide meaningful impressions about you, not the prestige of their title. A busy manager who remembers you fondly but struggles to recall any of your specific achievements may be less helpful than a colleague who has worked alongside you on numerous projects. If you do not have a large selection of managers or bosses to choose from for references, add some old professors or colleagues to your list of references. No matter how confident you are about someone’s appreciation for your work, never list a reference without permission. Also, be sure to note how long it takes each potential reference to respond to your request. If you don’t hear back promptly, chances are a hiring manager won’t either. All of these tips will ensure that your prospective new employer will hear the most and best things about you. Be sure to follow up with people once they have agreed to be a reference as well.