The Dos and Don’ts of Asking for References

The Dos and Don'ts of Asking for References | THE RIGHT STAFF

You may be asked for a list of references during your next job search. Many employers use these references to fact-check your resume or interview responses.

As a result, you want credible professionals on your list of references. They can speak positively about your qualities and experiences related to the job you want.

Of course, there are right and wrong ways to ask for references. These tips can help.

Follow this list of dos and don’ts when asking for references during your Minnesota job search.

Choose the Right Professionals


  • Consider your references early in your job search. You may be asked for a list during the application phase.
  • Write down former supervisors, managers, colleagues, or coworkers who can speak highly of your character, work ethic, accomplishments, and qualifications.


  • Wait to create your list and not have it ready upon request.
  • Include professionals you worked with years ago who might not remember you.

Contact Your References


  • Call each professional and ask them to serve as a reference.
  • Write down each reference’s full name, job title, work address, phone number, email address, and preferred method of communication.


  • Have your references contacted without notification and not effectively endorse your work performance.
  • Rush your referrals to decide to help you.

Talk with Your References


  • Talk with each professional about what you worked on together and where you are in your career.
  • Email your resume to provide information on your career development.


  • Ignore whether it appears to be a good time to talk with the professional.
  • Assume the professional is willing to serve as a reference for you.

Update Your References


  • Email each reference when you give an employer your list.
  • Include the company name, an overview of the job, and any specific information you would like shared.


  • Let your references unexpectedly be called at an inconvenient time.
  • Expect your references to guess at the information they should share and whether it will help you land the job.

Follow Up


  • Thank each reference every time they endorse your work performance.
  • Let each reference know when you accept a job offer.


  • Ignore your references and weaken your networking relationships.
  • Forget to offer to return the favor when a reference is involved in a job search.

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