There are two main types of references today. One type is involved primarily with the job employment sector and involves both hiring managers and interview candidates. The other deals more with students at the high school and college level and the research end of writing papers.
For any job seeker, a list of references provides a concrete way for prospective employers to know that job candidates mean business. Usually, candidates who bring in these references whether they are asked to or not have a leg up on other candidates because they have proactively shown that they have thoroughly prepared themselves to be seriously considered for a job opportunity. Thus, those who bring a reference list with them normally get put at the top of a possibilities list by hiring managers.
In this scenario, references are used to let employers looking to hire these people know about the people who are endorsing them. This includes past managers and past coworkers, professors in college, and friends with professional careers who have seen these job candidates in action. In most cases, these references include a phone number, email address and sometimes an address of the people who are endorsing a candidate, and it is then up to the employer to decide whether to call on these references to verify what each candidate is saying about himself or herself.
There are other cases when references come in handy, such as when research papers are assigned and students need these references to cite information and back up their claims or really anything they are writing. In this instance, students normally use reference materials to cite any facts or statistics and to prove that research has been performed on a paper prior to it being handed over. Often, these materials are cited at the end of a paper and include the website or the book in which the materials were found.
In both cases, references are utilized as back up resources to what people are claiming. They are most of the time designed this way, meaning people utilize them when they are claiming something about themselves like their work ethic or when they are claiming someone else’s factors to be true. In both instances, information is given to let the person considering a hire or grading a paper know where to go when they wish to look up more information on the candidate or research paper.