Who To Choose as a Job Reference

Who To Choose as a Job Reference

August 4, 2022

When applying for a new job, in addition to a polished resume, you’ll also need to have a list of references who can speak to your potential new employer. The people you list as your references should be those you have a good relationship with and who will speak positively on your behalf. Here are some great people to choose from when putting together your reference list...

Recent Boss or Supervisor
Depending on whether or not your current employer knows you’re interviewing elsewhere, you may choose to either list your current boss or a recent previous boss. This is one of the most important people you can list for a reference because a boss will be able to talk about your skills, work ethic, and how it was managing you.

Another person you may want to include on your reference list is a co-worker who you had a positive relationship with and has a good understanding of your duties and responsibilities. They will be able to speak to how you work on a team, your interpersonal skills, and your day-to-day attitude.

If you are fresh out of school and new on the job market, you may want to list a professor as a reference. Ideally, you’d choose a professor who taught in a field related to the industry you are applying for. If you were an athlete, listing a coach can also be a good idea as they can talk about how you interacted with your team, took direction and how that can apply to your future professional career.

Fellow Volunteer Member
If you have volunteer experience, list someone you volunteered with who can speak to your work ethic, commitment, and character. Additionally, showing potential employers your volunteer experience is always a great idea and this may be a clever way to showcase that.

Final Note
With all of these references, always ask them in advance if they would be ok with you listing them as a reference, and then when the time comes and you start applying for jobs, give them a heads up that employers may be contacting them for a reference check. If you need help asking someone to be a reference, here’s a great template available on Indeed.

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