Potential employers usually ask for professional references from people who can provide additional information on a candidate’s qualifications for a position. With the fierce competition for available jobs, having good references may be the deciding factor in securing that plum position.

According to Allen Cranston from ResumeThatWorks, “selecting strong professional references that will effectively showcase your talents and on-the-job performance is key to securing a potential job offer. These individuals have the ability to present an objective view while bringing your resume to life – and this type of credibility is critical at the final stages of the hiring process.”

Below are some tips for effectively obtaining excellent professional references:

Choose wisely.

You will want to select responsive people who can confirm your title, your reason for leaving, and other details. It’s also very important to have a general idea of what they might say about your background and your performance. Particularly if you have left a company under less than optimal circumstances, you may wish to use references other than your employer. Business acquaintances, professors, customers, and vendors can all make good references. If you are a community volunteer, consider using leaders of the organization as personal references.

Ask Permission

Always ask permission from your references to use their names. An unexpected phone call from a potential employer will not give them enough time to prepare, and they may end up saying things you would not want them to say because they were caught off guard. Asking their permission will also give you a chance to explain what points you might want them to emphasize.

Keep Them in the Loop

Make sure your references have the most up to date versions of your resume and cover letter, and that they are actually aware of what you have been doing recently. A prospective employer is unlikely to be impressed by a reference from someone who has no idea where you are and has not heard from you for several years. The most effective references are people who know you well, including what you’ve done and where you want to go next. To increase your chances, contact the resume editing service!

Different references for different reasons.

As you apply for various jobs, you will find that different employers are looking for specific skills or experience. For this reason, it is often not advisable to provide one list to all prospective employers. You should select several different references who can address different aspects of your skills and experience.

Maintain relationships.

Keep in contact with former colleagues as you move forward in your career. They may not only serve as great references now but also in the future. Leaving a company on good terms is important for many reasons, but being able to use those managers and colleagues as references is one of the most important. If properly maintained, these contacts can be valuable members of your professional network for years to come.

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