What You Should Know About Job References

How to Get and Use References for Employment

When you're job searching, seeking a promotion, growing your career, or expanding your business it is important to have professional references who can vouch for your abilities.

Here's what you should know about job references including who to ask for a reference, types of employment references including personal and professional references, how to list references, when to give references to employers, reference checks, and sample reference letters and lists.

What Are Employment References?

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When you're job hunting, it's important to be prepared to provide a list of employment references who can attest to the skills and qualifications that you have for the job you are applying for.  Plan ahead and get your references in order, before you need them. It will save time scrambling to put together a list at the last minute. More

How to Select and Use References

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When you are applying for jobs you'll need to have a list of references ready. Those references should be able to vouch for your skills, abilities and qualifications as they relate to the jobs you apply for.  Here's more about who to to use for references when you apply for jobs and how your references can help your job search. More

How to Ask for a Reference

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Who should you ask to provide references? On the average, employers check three references for each candidate, so have at least that many ready to vouch for you. It's important to know your references, and to select the right people to recommend you.  Here's information on who and how to ask for a reference.


When to Use Professional References

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A professional reference is a reference from a person who can vouch for your qualifications. A professional reference is typically a former employer, a colleague, a client, a vendor, a supervisor or someone else who can recommend you for employment. Review Information on who makes the best reference, how to find out what your references will say about you, and how to provide references to employers. More

When to Use Character and Personal References

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Looking for your first job? Concerned about the reference your employer might give you? Looking for a business-related reference? Consider using a character reference (personal reference) in addition to or as an alternative to employment reference letters.


When Employers Conduct Reference Checks

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When you are job searching, expect to have your references checked by prospective employers. Here's what you need to know about reference checks, including the reference check questions your previous employers will be asked, what employers can disclose, and information on more detailed background and credit checks for employment. More

How to Create a Reference Lists

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When you provide a list of professional references to an employer, you should include your name at the top of the page. Then list your references, including name, job title, company, and contact information, with a space in between each reference.


Review Reference Letter Examples

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Whether you are writing or requesting references, it's always helpful to look at examples of different types of reference letters.  Here are sample character, reference and recommendation letters, and how to utilize references, reference lists, and related resources. More

Types of Recommendation Letters

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There are several types of recommendation letters you can use for job searching including academic recommendations from teachers or professors, references from employers, character references, and online recommendations on professional networking site LinkedIn.


References on LinkedIn

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Here's advice on how to get LinkedIn recommendations, who to ask for references, and how to manage the recommendations you've received. More