More Interview Tips

Lining Up References

Almost all organizations want job applicants to supply multiple references of people who can vouch for them, and who can add texture to all that the interviewer has learned from the résumé and interview.

You should give a lot of thought to whom you want to be your reference – don’t make it an after-thought, as often happens. Ideally, you should provide a mix of references – at least one or more person you have worked for or reported to; and at least one peer or colleague who has worked closely with you. In all cases, it’s a no-brainer that your reference should be a person who will speak enthusiastically and positively about you.

Depending upon the circumstances or the nature of the job you are applying for, you could ask someone you have volunteered with or served on a board with to be a reference. And if you are a student or a recent graduate, you could ask a tutor or a professor who knows you well to be a reference. If you have actively participated in athletics, a coach or the team captain could be a valuable reference. Similarly, if you have been an active and contributing member of a student activity or club, the president of the club could be a reference.

Be respectful of the people whom you ask to be your references. Always check with them to make sure that they are willing to be your champion and speak on your behalf. You are asking each person to invest time and their personal reputation on your behalf. Always write a sincere thank you letter to them when they agree to your request. If you do land that job, make sure to inform each of your references – and to thank them again. It’s good manners – and you never know when you may need their support in the future!