References are such a powerful tool because you can promote yourself all you want in a cover letter, resume or portfolio, but you have less autonomy over your references. You can't control what your references say about you. However, you can control who you select as a reference. And, it's a crucial choice to make, with serious consequences to your job search. The references you list is an important choice when you are putting together your job application. One wrong word from a less-than-enthusiastic reference can quickly knock you off an employer's list of candidates.
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Do you have a list of references ready to provide to prospective employers? It's also important to contact your references for permission to use them and to advise them that they may be contacted. Have a list of three or four people who can vouch for your expertise and qualifications ready to share with prospective employers. The employer will typically specify how many references to include on your list, as well as what contact information you need to provide for each reference. The employer will typically advise you on how and when to provide references. As with all communication with a potential employer, from cover letters to thank-you notes, your list of references should be formatted professionally, easy to read and understand, and free of any typos or errors. For instance, you could write, "Reference Name was my supervisor while I was an accountant at Smith Enterprises," or "Reference Name is my current employer.
References on a resume are contacts that a prospective employer can call during the hiring process to check your previous work experience, job performance, and what kind of an employee you are to work with. Your references should include people from your professional life who can vouch for your qualifications for the job you are applying for. The number of references you include in your reference list will depend on your career level. Entry-level positions generally require about three references , while more senior positions may require five to seven references from different times in your professional history.
When you need to provide references to a potential employer, the best way to do this is to create a reference page you can share with them. A reference page is a list of your references. Create a separate list you can upload with your job application, if requested, and have one ready to share with the hiring manager during or after your interview.