Who Provides the Best References?

Who Provides the Best References?
The best references are provided by individuals who:

  • Were one of your supervisors
  • Are aware of your past accomplishments
  • Understand the impact your accomplishments had on past companies
  • Willing to make themselves available to provide reference checks
  • Have been prepped by you, to understand the position
  • Like you and have your best interest at heart

Co-workers are not considered a good source for a reference check. It’s also important for you to realize that employers do verify the title of the person you list as a reference. If you misrepresent someone’s title, this is considered dishonest and you will be eliminated from consideration.

If a hiring authority wants a reference from a current employer, you may consider providing the name of a customer or vendor, someone who is aware of the quality of your work. Explain that you can’t jeopardize your current position.

Human Resource Departments often only provide names, title, and salary verification. If you reference would be average at best, this could be the best reference to provide.

The person to provide the best reference check varies depending on your personal situation. When in doubt, have someone check your references so you don’t wonder what is being said. You will know exactly what references are being provided.

Learn to Properly Prep Your References
The greatest mistake you can make is to list an individual as one of your references, without informing them of the exact opportunity you are seeking. Most people are more than willing to help you in your efforts to find a job. However, if they don’t know what is most important to this particular company or person, they can actually cause you to be screened out from consideration.

You references know who you were in the past. Most references have no idea of what positions or industries you’re currently targeting in your job search efforts. The minute you provide the names and contact information of your references, you need to call your references and provide the following information.

  • Name of the person who might be calling them
  • Title of the person
  • Name of the company
  • Title of the opportunity you are seeking
  • Areas of expertise most important to this employer
  • Core values or company culture of this employer
  • Any additional inside information that can provide your references with insight of the top priorities of this hiring authority
  • Salary range if known