Who Should Be Your Job Reference?

September 6th, 2017

When asking individuals to serve as a job reference, it’s important you choose the right ones. You want people who can attest to your strong work ethic, skills and experience so an employer wants to hire you. Here are seven suggestions for who should be your job reference.

Previous Employer

Your previous employer can provide insight into what your job responsibilities were, how you handled them and what your work ethic was like. Having a previous employer serve as reference emphasizes the importance of not burning bridges with your organization upon departure. Your hard work can be undone by one comment or email.

Past Supervisor

A past supervisor can talk about your individual and team contributions to getting work done on time. They can give real information on the impact you make with the team and on the soft skills you bring to a team and a culture.

Former Co-Worker

A former co-worker can discuss the work you collaborated on, including your individual contributions and team results. Because employers look for teamwork in candidates, you have strong evidence you’re a team player.

Human Resources Staff Member

Because they’re experts on people, HR staff carry credibility with employers performing reference checks. HR staff will most likely follow corporate policy and limit their discussion about you.

Advisor at a Place You Volunteer

Because of their giving nature, they’ll most likely be willing to help you out. Also, volunteering impresses employers because you go beyond what’s expected of you. Providing an advisor from a volunteer organization as a reference shows a well-rounded part of your portfolio.

High School Teacher

If they taught a course pertinent to your job, they can discuss the skills you picked up during class. If their course wasn’t directly related to your job, the teacher can discuss your personal character in finishing work on time and achieving desired results. This reference shouldn’t be on your resume more than a few years after graduation.

High School Coach

Coaches often act as mentors throughout high school and beyond and can talk about your dedication to the team and getting positive results. Building off the high school teacher, you don’t want to realize on job references from your high school for an extended period of time.

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