Who (and How) to Ask for Job References
April 19, 2016 | by


When you begin searching for a job, having a list of references is a great way to solidify your strengths and prove to employers that you have what it takes. However, it can be overwhelming to try and find the right people to make up your list. This week, College LifestylesTM has created your go-to guide in order to help you build a strong list of job references.

Ask for permission

Employers will often ask you for about 3-5 references. The University of Delaware reminds students to always ask the person you hope to have as a reference before putting it down on your list. Make sure your potential references are aware of what this might mean for them and if possible, provide them with a list of questions they may be asked.

Think carefully

Whoever you choose should be able to give a positive review of your work, your character and your strengths. The University of California Davis suggests selecting individuals who can accurately judge your performance, time management, organization skills and other relevant information. It is also important that the person you ask knows you well enough to write about your work and personality. This is usually someone you have known at least three months.


Ask past employers

If you have had jobs in the past, try getting into contact with your previous employers. No matter what your past experience was, your past boss can talk about your work ethic and personality. Referring future employers to your previous boss also shows that you are a reliable and responsible employee.

Ask your colleagues

Don’t forget to ask your previous colleagues. Chat with anyone who you feel you have developed a close professional relationship with. After all, references from your colleagues can be just as important as the references from your boss because they focus on different aspects of your personality and day-to-day performance.

Create a list

Columbia University tells students to create a separate list of references instead of putting the contacts on your resume. Include your references’ names, titles and contact information and bring along a hard copy to interviews.

When it comes to finding job references, it’s important to reach out to those who will reassure future employers that you are the right person for the job. Be sure to choose your references carefully in order to make a great first impression and land the job of your dreams.

For more great articles, check out the links below:

How to Find Summer Internships as a Biology Major

Lessons You’ll Learn in College That Will Help You Ace Your 20s

What Do I Bring to a Job Fair?

Top image courtesy of Elizabeth Angarola.

Middle image courtesy of stockimages/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

About Author

Elizabeth Angarola is a student at The University of San Francisco. Follow her at @livlovelaughliz. To stay tuned to more articles for classy co-eds be sure to follow College Lifestyles on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

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