3 References

Whom to use as a Reference

Choose nonrelatives who know your work habits, accomplishments, community activities, academic abilities, or character. Solicit references from people you trust, those who will maintain confidentiality, and those who will give an honest, good reference about you. This group could include the following:

Former supervisors
Former work peers
Business associates
Former or current associates from community activities
Former or current teachers and instructors
Others who know your abilities

These reference types can attest to a range of areas about you including your work habits, your ability to get along with others, your academic abilities, and your personality.

Friends and family members should not be asked to be references. Employers view them as being biased, of course, so the employer may not value what they have to say about you.

Top Five Rules of References

1. Ask permission from each person you want as a reference.

2. Be sure the person will give a positive reference about you.

3. Thank your references for their help and send them a thank you note after they grant you permission.

4. Keep your references informed about your job search progress.

5. Stay in touch with references during the times you are not looking for employment. If you connect with your references only when you are in a job search, this sends a negative message that you are simply using them.


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Career Education by Lumen Learning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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