How To Choose The Right References
When choosing your references, you should keep in mind that recruiting professionals will almost always check them. So be very careful with who you include in the list.
For example, you might be tempted to include a reference that sounds really impressive on paper. This person could hold a very high position in your company or even be a well-known professional in the field. But this wont do you much good unless they actually know you well enough to have something meaningful to say about you.
Traditionally, you should provide at least two references on your CV. The first one should be your current or former employer, and the second can be someone who knows you well in a professional or academic setting.
Are you a recent university graduate? In that case, its acceptable to include two academic references as opposed to a professional.
Also keep in mind that if you are using a former employer as a reference, it should be the most recent one. Otherwise, the recruiter might think that you have something to hide.
Some good examples of possible references include:
- Current or previous employers
Having A Master Reference List Ready:
It is helpful to have a complete “master” list of references already prepared, even if you are currently not looking for a job. This way, whenever you are asked for your references you will not struggle to come up with appropriate contacts on short notice. Gather together your professional contacts along with their names, titles, organizations, phone numbers, and email addresses and keep them handy.
Who To Ask For A Character Reference
Since a character reference is a testament to your personality, not your work experience, you should ask someone who knows you well to write it, but not an employer. The reference needs to be someone who can speak to your character, personality, abilities and qualities. While family members can provide character references, they will likely be more meaningful coming from someone unrelated to you.
Consider asking a longtime friend, neighbor, mentor, coach, teacher or professor. You could also ask a familiar business contact. If you have experience volunteering, the volunteer coordinator or head of a charitable organization would be a good character reference. The head or leader of a club or church you belong to is also a good choice.
Only ask someone who knows you personally, who thinks highly of you and preferably someone who has known you for at least a year and in various situations, so they can credibly attest to your character.
Don’t Miss: Show Promotions On Resume
Relationship To The Candidate
When describing your relationship to the candidate, be as specific and positive as possible. If there are lots of ways you know each other, pick the most appropriate one.
I work alongside Judy volunteering at the village shop.
John is the Treasurer of the PTA at my childrens school, as well as my neighbour.
Who Do I Ask For A Character Reference Letter
A distant relative will work in a pinch, but better to choose a family friend or someone youve worked with in an informal capacity.A volunteer supervisor, neighborhood parent for whom you have babysat, or close friend of many years would be excellent choices.An immediate family member should be avoided.
Recommended Reading: Do You Put Gpa On Resume
Everything You Need To Know About A Personal Reference
Many employers will ask you to provide references as part of your application or at some stage during the interview process. The personal reference, sometimes known as the character reference, is a brief assessment of you as an individual provided by someone who knows you outside of work. This should not be confused with the professional reference which is provided by a former or current employer. Rather than covering your skills and competencies in the workplace, the personal reference will cover your personality, character, behaviour and ethics.
What Is A Resume Reference List
A resume reference list is a document you provide during the job application process that consists of professional references, their contact details and their relation to you. This document can be beneficial when seeking a job because potential employers want to hear about your reliability from individuals who have personally worked with you.
During the recruitment process, hiring managers may contact people on your reference list to learn more about how you perform in a professional capacity. They may ask questions about your skills and work ethic to find out if you are right for the position, so it is crucial to choose your references wisely.
Each employer has a different process. Some may ask for references with your resume when you apply, while others may request your references once you have completed a phone screening or in-person interview.
Whether an employer asks you to submit a resume reference list or not, it is a worthwhile document to have prepared. The people you list should be reliable and know you on a professional level so that they can promote your positive work attributes to potential employers.
Don’t Miss: How To Write Email For Sending Resume
Who Should You Ask To Be Your Reference
Consider asking your colleagues and supervisors both from your previous work history and present to be your references. This allows the hiring manager to discover more about you, your work ethic, and your personality. If you’re in a field that appreciates more experience and expertise or are a recent graduate with little professional work experience, consider asking your academic advisor or professors to be your reference. These professionals can also attest to your skill level and work ethic.
For some positions, employers may be interested in a character reference as well. You can ask past colleagues, supervisors, or professors for these, but you also might consider listing your close friends if you don’t have extensive work experience. Listing friends allows them to provide detailed examples to prove your character traits.
How Many References To Provide On A Cv
In general, you need to provide two references one being your former employer and the other someone who knows you well. The number of references may vary, however, depending on the circumstances of the applicant. For example, its fine for school leavers only to include one referee, and for college students to include two academic staff instead of one academic staff and one employer.
Also Check: How Many References Should You Include In Your Resume
Then Provide Resources When You Ask For A Character Reference
It is possible that the person you are asking to give a reference for you might not have given a reference for anyone else before. Give them ample resources that they can refer to so they can provide the best character reference possible. They may need guidelines on format and content, especially if they are required to draft a reference letter.
Who To Ask For References If Youre A Seasoned Professional
- Past employers. They can vouch for your work skills, overall performance and describe how you interact with colleagues and supervisors.
- Direct supervisors. They know you the best and can vouch for you when it comes to your transferable skills and work ethic.
- Professional mentors. They have a solid understanding of your personality and receptiveness to training and feedback.
Also, think about the relevancy of your reference. How recent is it? Does it come close to the nature of the job youre applying for today?
Rrecent references should naturally be your first choice. Using someone you worked with years ago as a reference may look like youre trying to hide something.
But if an older reference is more relevant to the job youre applying for now, dont hesitate to put it on your resume regardless of age.
Read Also: How To List Languages On Resume
What To Do When Youre The One Looking For References
Looking for your first job, or been out of the workforce for a while? Do you need a recommendation, but don’t have professional references you can use, or are you concerned about the references your employer might give you?
Along with using character references when applying for jobs or school, you might also need a character reference when applying for a loan from the bank or for renting an apartment. A reference gives the employer, school, landlord, or bank a vote of confidence about the candidate.
Ability To Work Under Pressure And Meet Tight Deadlines
Pressure and stress levels vary from one job to another. For instance, the pressure you experience as a surgeon may be higher than what you might experience in another role. An employer is usually interested in knowing if you will remain calm under pressure and pursue the tasks efficiently. When writing your resume, give real-world examples of when you demonstrated having this ability.
Examples of this skill include meeting tight deadlines within budget and on time, working in a high-pressure, fast-paced work environment, handling complaints from customers and resolving conflicts amicably.
Also Check: Corvette Plant Tour Times
What Are Cv References
CV references are people whose contact information you give to recruiting professionals so that they can vouch for your character, skills, and work performance.
Recruiters like to use your references to double-check what youve written on your CV, as many candidates actually lie on their applications. In fact, 85% of employers say they have caught applicants lying on their CVs.
If you provide references in your CV, the recruiters will either call or email them and request information about you, such as:
- What is their relationship to you?
- Are you a good employee?
- Why are you no longer working for them?
- What are your defining characteristics such as abilities, work ethics, interpersonal skills, punctuality, etc?
- Will you be a good fit for the job you are applying for?
Send A Thank You Note
After you receive a character reference, remember to show your appreciation by sending a thank-you note to the person who provided it for you. It’s also polite to follow up by informing them if you received the position and letting them know that their reference was successful.
Consider this example request for a character reference to help you write your own:
Subject: Character Reference RequestâLydia Danvers
Dear Mr. Grant,
I have enjoyed working with you at the Mission Women’s Center these last three years. I am applying for a master’s degree program in social work, and the application requires a character reference to attest to my personality and skills. Could you provide this reference for me?
Thank you for your support and encouragement as I’ve learned how to help at the Center. I chose to ask you for the reference because I hope I have shown you my integrity, reliability and commitment to community social work during this time.
I have attached a link to the program description as well as my application essay and CV. The application is due on Dec. 1 through the university’s online portal.
Thank you again for your continued support.
Recommended Reading: How Many References Should You Include In Your Resume
What Is A Character Reference Letter
A character reference letter is a short letter written by an individual who knows you well. This is not like a professional reference letter . Rather, this is someone who knows you on a more personal level and can speak out about your qualities and characteristics and why you would be a valuable asset to the companys team.
Determine How Many References To Include
To know how many references you need, consider your career level and experience. If you are new to the job market, you may only need two or three references. This could change when you are applying for a more senior role. In this case, list a variety of references from different points in your career. Employers want a good indication of your performance and consistency throughout your career.
Employers may let you know how many references to list. When this happens, list the number requested and include any information the employer asked for specifically. Keep it simple, on topic and formatted as required.
Even when you provide a comprehensive list of references on a resume, the employer may not use them all. There are times when the employer only contacts one or two of your references, so it might be best to hone your list to your most relevant and helpful individuals.
However, supplying an extensive list of different types of references can still be useful. It means the employer has a wide choice of people to contact if one or two of them are unavailable. They can also choose which type of reference they wish to hear from. For example, if you are applying for a sales role and you have listed a manager from a hospitality role, the employer may choose to contact a reference you have recorded from a previous sales job instead.
Recommended Reading: How To Write A Resume For Cna With No Experience
Want Someone To Reference Your Character
Learning from our example of a character reference letter is one way you can help your friends and colleagues advance their careersbut don’t forget about you! Could you use some help polishing your professional development? Monster can send you free career advice and job search tips so you can hone the skills that will make you a candidate that others will happily endorse.
When Are Character Reference Letters Used
An employer can ask for a character reference at any time, but there are certain situations in which you should provide one independent of being asked.
A character reference is a great way to bolster an otherwise weak application. If you have little job experience or your professional references are merely good, a character reference can be the boost you need to land your job of choice.They are also useful if you will be working with a particular set of people, such as children or the elderly, and do not have work experience in their field. A note about your abilities and experiences working with this demographic may be your golden ticket.
You May Like: Resume Template Photoshop
How Many Character References Do I Need For Resume
When youre asked for references, you can strategically choose the best people to represent what you want highlighted for the opportunity, she says. Typical job seekers should have three to four references, while those seeking more senior positions should consider listing five to seven, experts suggest.
When Should You Put References On A Resume
Including references in your resume used to be more common in the past. Sure, its good to prepare a list of references in advance, but including it in your resume isnt always the best course of action.
But in some specific situations, its still okay to put them on your resume or together with your application. Its not customary but certainly acceptable if:
- The job listing asks for references from the get-go, you should include them without much hesitation.
- Your reference is someone well-known in the company or industry. Sometimes you dont want to wait until the last round of interviews to play your strongest card.
- Youre a fresh graduate. Probably you still dont have enough experience to fill an entire resume. Moreover, as a student, you have no authority yet. Let others do the bragging for you.
- Youre a freelancer. For companies its sometimes hard to find a dependable freelancer. Of course, your portfolio is still the most important of your application, but you should always be ready to provide a list of references from your past clients.
- Theres an employment gap on your resume. Including references on your resume is an effective way to balance out your work gap.
But If none of the above applies to you, dont do it. Its neither customary nor expected. There are several reasons for that:
Don’t Miss: How To Upload Resume Online
What Should You Write In A Character Reference
A lot of the best practice for a character reference is the same as good practice for writing a CV, and thats partly because the same restrictions apply in terms of using formal language, putting your point across in a concise way, and impressing the potential employer.
In general, its good to choose 3-5 attributes of the individual and give a medium amount of detail about each, including real-world examples and appropriate anecdotes. The employer can always ask for more information if theres something theyre really interested in.
Be specific: Like a CV, you need to stand out, so try not to be too generic in your choice of characteristics, or too general in the way you describe them. Explain what makes the candidate particularly strong in each area and not just as capable as any average applicant would reasonably be.
Make sure you choose personal or transferable attributes that are still relevant to the workplace, for example:
- Customer relations and external communications
- Leadership attributes and stepping up in a crisis
- Patience, understanding and empathy
- Teamwork and supporting others
You dont have to give the same amount of information about each attribute, just enough to make it worth including, and you can vary the number of characteristics you include if you think the individual has a longer list worth covering in full.
When Should I Include References On My Cv
1. When requested by the employer
Some employers may request your cover letter, CV, references and/or recommendation letters as part of the first stages of the job application process .
If this is the case, you must provide your references to the employer, either through their job application form or by including it on your CV. Most employers, however, will not ask for this information until the later stages of the selection process.
2. To impress the recruiter
Your reference may be a respectable and well-known person who would impress the reader an MP, dean of a university, director of a famous company or a person who has received an honorary award .
3. To make things easy for the recruiter
Including your referees on your CV makes life easier for some employers who may want to speak to your references before the interview stage.
By providing this information beforehand, they can instantly check you out at any stage of the selection process. Remember, recruiters are under no obligation only to contact your referees after the job interview stage.
4. To gives your CV more credibility
Psychologically-speaking, adding references gives your CV a little more weight and credibility because it demonstrates that you are confident of your own track-record and that you have people who will vouch for your suitability for the job whenever required.
It also gives the impression that you have nothing to hide .
5. To fill up blank space
Also Check: Listing Multiple Positions At One Company On Resume