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How to Choose Good References for your Resume

One of the best things you can do to boost your resume as a job seeker in your job search is to have good references. References will seal the deal for your potential job. After you participate in a good interview, employers will re-solidify their hiring decision by checking up on your references. You can list as many credentials and experiences as you want on your resume, but if your references aren’t good they can sink your chances of landing that job.

Having good references is what part of building a good resume and conducting a great job search is all about. To start, make a list of all your potential references so you can begin to narrow down the list. You shouldn’t list all of your previous employers as your references. You want to sit down and choose the ones that will offer the best insight into your work ethic and personality. Choosing good references in your job search means that you need to choose the right people. They need to be people that will give positive feedback on their experience with you as an employee.

As a savvy job seeker, you should choose references for your resume that you have a strong and lasting relationship with. If you worked at a job for over a year and left on a good note, then that would be an example of a good reference to list. When it comes to looking at past employers, it’s important that you left the job on a good note in order to have a good reference. Hopefully that nice resignation letter smoothed out any past grievances. It’s important to avoid burning any bridges with past employers so as a job seeker you don’t have a sketchy past.

Aside from employers, you can also use people that aren’t family or friends but still know you very well. This could be a mentor that you have or a volunteer coordinator you work with. These references offer the hiring employer the chance to get to know you on a more personal level in your job search rather than strictly professional. Again, like employer references, you want to make sure that you have a good solid relationship with this person. If you haven’t been in contact with any of your references in the last six months, then you should re-connect with them. In order to be a top job seeker, It’s always good to keep in touch with past employers.

As the Ladders reminds us, with any references you choose to put on your resume in your job search, make sure to give them advance notice that you have added them as a reference. You should also to be prepared to talk to them about your new potential employer. You can instruct them on what to discuss with the employer like what you accomplished at the job or good leadership skills you exhibited. Always thank them for their time as well, because you never know when you might need to use them again in the future.

What is some advice you can give as a job seeker on references? Did they ever make or break your job search? Let us know about it in the comments section below!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by ganderssen1

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Written by

Hannah is an intern writer here at Spark Hire. She is from the northern suburbs in Chicago and is currently studying journalism at DePaul University. She has always had a passion for writing which is why Journalism has proven to be the perfect career for her. She has written for the DePaulia Online on various topics such as fashion, music, movies and television. She loves living in Chicago because it offers exciting events to write stories on. In her free time she enjoys going to music concerts, watching movies with friends, cooking vegetarian food and walking her adorable Cocker Spaniel Coco.

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