How to Choose References

on August 14, 2017

With professors, previous employers and personal connections all fitting the criteria, choosing your list of references for a job application isn’t easy. Here are some tips on choosing references for your resume.


Speaks to Your Character


You’ll want to seek out someone who can speak for your values and morality. Your resume reflects your achievements and work ethic, but only a reference can detail the kind of person you are and your most redeemable qualities. Pick somebody who’s close enough to you to attest to your morals while still having an objective opinion on the matter. Family and close friends are sure to be able to complement your character but are not the individuals you should ask to serve as a reference.


Knows How You Work


Employers want to know how you work along with what work experience you have. Getting a recommendation from somebody you’ve worked with or a mentor figure helps convey your work ethic and efficiency. Consider those who have seen you do your best work and deliver remarkable results. 


Highs and Lows


Just as you should be able to attest to your strengths and weaknesses in interviews, your references should be able to reveal some areas in which you can improve. You’ll want references who can speak genuinely of you. Look for those who’ve seen your high and low points, they might even attest to your ability to learn from mistakes and rise to greater heights.


Perfectly Persuasive


Measured praise comes off as honest and admirable. Pick references you feel will persuade employers to hire you by marketing specific aspects of your work ethic or personality. Focusing on certain parts instead of making sweeping compliments gives the employer a better idea of who you are and comes off as high praise from your reference.

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