You’ve worked hard to hone your skills, secured the necessary work experience, and used energy to compete neck and neck against other candidates. But then comes the time to step up and take home the job title. Glowing references from previous employers or mentors could help you stand out from the crowd.
With reports from Hudson Recruitment stating that over 80% of hiring managers conduct reference checks as part of the selection process, it’s so important to provide referees you know will more than tow you over the line and land you the job.
Here are some things to consider when deciding who you should use as a referee in your next application:
What is a referee and what do they do?
Ideally, these are people you’ve worked with in a professional setting or who have mentored you throughout your studies. You should have a good relationship with them – they are the type of people who will offer you career advice, commend you on your work and recommend you to a future employer.
They’ll essentially be able to confirm, when called by a potential employer, that you can demonstrate what you’ve outlined in your resume: technical skills, your level of motivation, your experience and attitude in the workplace.
Most job applications will require you to have a minimum of two referees, and some will even state they have to be your current or most recent employer. If you cannot provide two work related referees you can approach an academic, but select one that knows who you are and from a unit you have really engaged in.
What your referee should be able to confirm
- Your employment and responsibilities in your current or previous role with them
- Your strengths
- The types of people you work well with
- Your ability to work well under pressure, in teams and on your own
- Your capacity to take direction
- Your suitability for the role you have applied for
How to present a referee on your resume
Referees are presented at the end of your resume and should be identified by their full name, their position, the organisation they work for, a contact number, an email address and their relationship to you.
Once you identify which two people you know will be able to recommend you highly to an employer, ask their permission to use them in your applications. Request their contact details and let them know there is potential that they may be called to give a reference in the near future.
It’s good etiquette to let your referees know once you have progressed through the interview stages; there is a good chance they will be called to talk about your suitability for a particular role. In this case, you should provide them with a position description so they can talk about your skills and how they apply to the role.
And don’t forget to thank your referees, whether you get the job or not.