References hold a powerful impact whenever the job seeker reaches out to them. Think about what type of position you are applying for and how a reference can complement you to that job. Do you want someone to speak highly regarding your outgoing personality? Or what about your work ethic? When you are asked for references there are some key factors to think about when selecting them.


Select People You Are Friendly With

Try and compile a list of people that you have a friendly relationship with. In other words, do not select your inner circle. Although your inner circle will always speak highly of you, their opinion is biased and may not be the right perspective that the employer was trying to receive.

Selecting your next circle, as in, bosses, co-workers, coaches, professors, etc. allows the employer to realize the type of relationship you had with them all while still gaining a professional view of you.


Accurate Contact Information

Most employers want you to provide references. Whether that is anywhere from 1 to 5, if the employer asks for them, they are most likely going to contact them. As the candidate you need to make sure that you provide the employer accurate information.

Fail to do so? The employer is left with a bad impression for many reasons. To begin, it shows that you lack attention to detail because you did not check over your documents before you submitted it to them. Second, it leaves the employer at a ‘dead end’ because they were seeking information regarding you but was not able to receive anything. Your references can determine whether or not you are offered a role at that organization, make sure you understand the importance of them!


Inform Your References

Let your references know that you are job searching and a phone call might be coming their way soon by the employer. First, this will allow them to not feel alarmed when they see an unknown caller. Second, if they know they are anticipating a call, they can be prepared to answer and give feedback. Third, by also giving them a heads up, it shows respect by you as well as your attention to detail to make sure everything is set up for success on your end.


Pick Someone Who Is Reliable

Have you thought about googling your references to see what comes up? Is it good or bad? Employers often will run a quick google search to scan not only your online profile but your references. It is a quick and easy way for them to get an idea of your appearance, and how you portray yourself. The same is done for your references.

Often, references do not pick up the phone because they do not recognize the number or do not call them back after a voicemail is left. This is a huge challenge for the employer, so it is crucial to inform your references to avoid this scenario. If the employer is trying to reach out but receives no response, why put references? They are supposed enhance your job search experience.