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Sunday, April 26, 2015

5 Tips on Handling Your Job References Effectively

Top 5 Tips for Handling References Professionally During Your Job Search

By Michelle Dumas -- Do you wonder about how best to leverage and submit your references during your job search? Here are some tips to help you:

1. Never submit your references with the resume. You want to have a face-to-face meeting with the employer, or at the very least, a telephone interview, before providing references. The purpose of the resume, at least at this stage of the job search process, is to generate enough interest to get you called in for an interview. By listing references on your resume, you just give the recipient of your resume another opportunity to screen you out before you have a chance to sell yourself in person. Also, avoid the old and overused phrase "references provided on request." It is taken for granted that you will provide references on request. There is no need to state on your resume that you will do so. Listing this on your resume just takes up valuable space that could be used for more important data.

2. Former or current direct supervisors make excellent references, but clients, your former employees, co-workers, and vendors you have interfaced with often make great references also. If you have people willing to endorse you whose names are recognizable in your industry or profession and who will add credibility to your job search, by all means include them--and do so prominently. But, don't neglect to include references from people at all levels, particularly those in positions that represent the people you would have to interact with on a real-world, day-to-day basis in your next job.

3. As much as possible, you will want to maintain connections with "old" colleagues and other people that you worked with or associated with in past jobs. While the most current references will often hold the most weight, having no references from past employers can look suspect. Recruiters may wonder, for example, if you left your past employer on bad terms or if you had or have trouble establishing strong professional relationships. If you have lost touch with old colleagues, you might try looking for them on LinkedIn or other professional networking sites.

Click here to read part 2 of this article



  1. This is old fashioned pre-social media thinking.

    I agree that you do not put people's names, phone numbers and email on a resume and expect an employer to call them.

    However some of my most successful resumes have had an endorsement section where we present published recommendations that validate the information that appears on the resume. This is the way of the future.

  2. Some good tips here on handling job references

  3. I agree for I don't unless I am a candidate in the top 3. I have been reaching out with no success so how does one revive a dead horse


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