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What to Think About When Choosing a Professional Reference

The connections you ask to serve as your professional references are important. They impact whether you receive a job offer.

You want individuals you worked with who can attest to your qualifications. This shows you have the knowledge, skills, and experience to carry out the job duties and responsibilities.

Follow these guidelines to determine which areas to consider when choosing a professional reference.

Who Would Provide a Positive Reference?

Think about which of your connections can discuss your qualifications relevant to the role you desire. These connections may include former supervisors, managers, colleagues, or coworkers.

For instance, former managers can discuss your ability to succeed in the workplace. They also can provide examples of the value you added to the team, department, or company.

Former colleagues or coworkers can provide insight into your communication and collaboration skills. They also can discuss how your personality, work habits, and adherence to deadlines equip you for the position.

What Might Your Professional References Say About You?

Talk with each reference about providing a positive recommendation. Email them the job description, a copy of your resume, and the qualifications you would like highlighted when the employer calls.

Emphasize your knowledge, skills, experience, and accomplishments that are relevant to the role. Also, share how your career development equips you for the position. This information demonstrates why the hiring manager should offer you the role.

Can One of Your Connections Provide an Employee Referral?

Securing an employee referral significantly increases your chances of landing a job. For instance, employers understand that employees typically spend time with people who have similar goals, interests, and personality traits. This means you are likely to blend with the culture, stay engaged, and perform your best.

Knowing someone who works for the company means you are likely to remain with the organization long-term. This makes you more attractive to the employer than other candidates.

How Many Professional References Should You Have?

Most employers ask candidates for three professional references. However, higher-level positions may require up to seven references.

Ensure your professional references align with the job requirements. Then, your references can speak to your ability to excel in different parts of the job.

As a result, have a pool of professional references ready at all times. This saves you time during your job search.

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