You might be asked to provide a list of professional references during your next job search. Many employers contact these references to fact-check your resume or answers to interview questions.
As a result, you should list credible references who can speak positively about your qualities and work experience. Letting these professionals know you would like them to serve as references helps them prepare.
Follow these guidelines when asking professionals to serve as references during your job search.
Choose Relevant Professionals
Determine which professionals would speak highly of your character, accomplishments, qualifications, and work ethic. These references might include former colleagues, coworkers, managers, or supervisors.
Focus on the professionals with whom you recently worked or interacted. Then, narrow down your list based on your priorities, the nature of the relationship, and the role you desire.
Finalize your list with 3-6 references. Then, you should have more than enough references for your potential employer to contact.
Contact Your References
Call or email each professional to ask them to serve as a reference. Knowing you would like their help provides time for each reference to prepare their responses.
Each reference might be asked to write a letter, complete a questionnaire, or talk on the phone with a member of Human Resources. Therefore, having adequate preparation time helps increase the quality of your references’ responses.
Detail Your Career Path
Talk with each reference about the projects you worked on together, where you are in your career path, and the job you desire. Also, email your resume so each reference has a clearer understanding of your knowledge, skills, experience, accomplishments, and qualifications.
Thank each reference for their time. Offer to help them in the future.
Follow Up with Your References
Send each reference a hand-written thank-you note for their help with your job search. If you accept a job offer, send a quick email letting your references know and expressing gratitude for their support.
Email Template to Request a Reference
If you are unable to talk with a potential reference in person or over the phone, consider using the following email template to request a reference:
Subject line: Reference request for [your name]
Dear [recipient name],
I hope all is well! [Insert a pleasantry such as, “How is your family?” or “I enjoyed talking with you at (a specific event last month)].”
I am seeking employment as a [job title] and am wondering whether you would feel comfortable providing a reference for me. Having worked with you for several years at [company name], I believe you can provide potential employers with specific information about my skills to improve my odds of receiving the job.
Attached is my resume. Please let me know if you need additional information to serve as a reference for me.
If now is not a good time, please let me know. Thank you so much for considering my request.
[your phone number]
[your email address]
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