Thursday, March 8, 2012
It is important to choose references who can positively attest to your ability to handle a job with professionalism and maturity. References you might want to ask include:
- Current or former direct supervisors
- College lecturers and professors
- Industry mentors who know you and your work well
These people know with your work and can attest to your ability. Before including a reference on your reference sheet, make sure to take the time to formally ask, either by phone or by e-mail, if they would be willing to serve as a reference for you and the type of positions for which you are applying. Some may choose to; others may not. Without asking their permission first, you are putting them on the spot if they receive a call and they may not be able or willing to speak highly of your abilities and successes. References should be listed on a separate piece of paper. They should NEVER be included as part of your resume.
References you should NOT include:
- Academic or career advisors
- Family friends
Although these people may know you personally, they most likely have not witnessed your work firsthand or how you might behave in a work setting.
It is a good idea to list your references in order of strength (e.g. your strongest reference should be listed first.) Be sure to give your references a copy of your resume and keep them informed about the positions you are interviewing for and who might be contacting them.
When seeking full-time positions, list three to five references; otherwise two to three are sufficient.
Coming up in future Career Corner posts: How to handle an employer site visit and how to protect yourself from potential job scams!
Rebecca Radke is a peer advisor in the BCC and a marketing and real estate BBA student.