Preparing For Work
Guidelines on Managing Your References
When employers ask for references, they are asking for names and contact information of people they can connect with who can confirm employment and, more importantly, answer a variety of questions regarding who you are and what you are like to work with. Ideally, your references will be people who have worked closely with you, either as colleagues, subordinates, or supervisors. References may also be personal, such as teachers, coaches, or mentors. Family and friends are not appropriate references.
Some employers refuse to provide references beyond confirming employment. In these instances, it can be important to identify a few close colleagues who are willing to act as a reference, or to identify personal references.
Employers Conduct Reference Checks To:
Here's a Breakdown of Your Role in This Process vs. The Employer's:
Your Role Is to Contact Your References And
- Let them know you are looking for work, explaining what kind of work you are looking for.
- Request permission to use their name.
- Inform each reference, after each interview, that their name has been shared, with whom, and for what position; ideally, you should give each reference the job ad or the cover letter and resume you submitted.
You should provide at least 3 references, and it is okay if they are from another country though, in this instance, an email address is ideal. For each reference, provide their full name, current email address and phone number, and specify their relationship to you.
The Employer’s Part in This Process Is To
- Request a reference list. This usually happens after a successful job interview and is often a sign that it went well, and they are considering making you a job offer.
- Contact your references either by phone or email to arrange a time to connect. Alternatively, some employers will send a list of pre-determined questions by email, requesting a written reply. Sometimes this step is handled by the hiring manager, sometimes by HR.