Your References – Do They Help or Hinder You?

If you’ve gotten to that point in your job search where an employer is interested in learning more about you, they will undoubtedly be interested in talking with your references. Are you prepared to supply references that will aid you chances of success, rather than hindering them?

ResumeEmployers will want three to five professional references. A professional reference speaks about your performance on the job. Good professional references may include recent supervisors, co-workers (not subordinates), customers, vendors, suppliers or volunteer members. Use friends or members of the clergy as a last resort – they cannot provide the type of work information an employer will be looking for in making a decision to hire you.

Once you have thought carefully about whom you will use for references, get their permission – make sure they are willing to be contacted by prospective employers. After receiving the ‘go-ahead’ from them, supply the following information on your reference page:

  • Full name and job title


  • Organizations name


  • Daytime phone number


  • The references private email address


  • The references professional relationship to you (former supervisor, current vendor, colleague, etc)


Make sure you contact each one of the references and go over what kinds of things they might say about you so you will not have any surprises. It’s good to discuss with each reference, just what kind of information they will give.

You will improve your chances greatly if you have a powerful LinkedIn page, particularly if your page includes recommendations and endorsements. Make sure your page gives a powerful representation of you and include your page URL on your resume and in your signature when you email others.

PS:  If you are not confident about your LinkedIn presence, or you’re not yet on LinkedIn, I can help!


***I want to make sure you have every opportunity to get calls for the jobs you want – in order to do this, you need to start with a stellar resume – so I am offering you a complementary resume critique – I know what it takes for a resume to get results! Just email your resume to me at and put “Resume Critique” in the subject line. I will then critique your resume. I look forward to hearing from you.***

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