If you’ve made it to the stage of the interview process where you’re asked to provide references, you are being very seriously considered for the position. Many candidates standing right at the end of the finish line consider references a mere formality, assuming anyone will do, but this can make or break your chances of getting hired.
Since references are often the last thing standing in the way of a job offer, you need to choose wisely to ensure you get a favorable review. The people on your list must have your best interests at heart and carry enough weight to impress the hiring manager. Unless specifically requested, personal references — friends and family members — are off limits, so find out where you should be focusing.
4 Types of People You Should Be Using as a Reference
In most cases, your current manager probably doesn’t know you’re looking for a new job, so asking them to be a reference is out of the question. However, if you have a good relationship with any of your last few bosses, reach out and ask if they’ll vouch for you. This type of reference means a lot because no one can speak to your work better than a former manager. Having a good relationship with a previous boss also makes you appear easy to work with.
Using current colleagues as a reference can work, but only if you’re absolutely certain they’ll keep your job search to themselves. In most cases, it’s best to ask a former colleague you worked closely with at a prior job to join your reference list. From an interviewer’s perspective, this is a great reference, because they can offer insights on what it’s like to have you as a teammate.
As with colleagues, you’ll need to use your discretion on whether to ask a current or former client to be a reference, but having someone in this category on your side is a valuable asset. Employers want to hire workers who provide outstanding customer service, and you clearly do that if you have a client willing to go out of their way to help you get a job.
If you’re new to the workforce, you might not have many credible people to use as professional references, so a college professor is a great choice. As long as they remember you, teach a subject applicable to the job you’re trying to get and can personally speak to your work, this recommendation will go a long way. A professor can also be a great option if you’re going through a career change and need someone in your target field to vouch for you.
If you’re ready to take the next step in your career, contact PrideStaff North Dallas. Our expert recruiters want to help you find the right temporary, temp-to-hire or direct hire opportunity with a top Dallas-area employer.