A reference, or an employment reference, is someone who can comment on your personal character, work ethic, or past work experiences. References can be given to employers on request, which means you should usually wait for the employer to ask for your references before giving them a reference list.employment reference

The objective of a reference is to give your potential employer a positive and honest description of your character and your work ethic and performance. An employer will contact your references to get a better understanding of who you are as a person and a worker, to make sure you’re the right fit for the position they’re looking to fill.

Everyone who is searching for a job should dedicate attention to collecting quality references and present them to the desired organization in the best possible way. Sometimes people busy writing resumes, and preparing for interviews, forget about preparing good references and putting them aside. Many experts advise that job references are equally if not more important than the rest of your preparation.

Often references are the key difference between the candidates when it comes to deciding between a few candidates who make it through the first steps of the hiring process. Choosing the right people to serve as your references is an important choice and one which this article will explore. Plan ahead and get your references in order, before you need them.

First, prepare a list of potential references and try to get their contact information. When deciding who will be included in your reference collection, select a mix of supervisors, managers and clients; because your new employer will always prefer to hear what people who directly managed your work have to say about you.

When you organize your reference letter, be sure to include to following information:
• Your overall performance and performance under pressure.
• Whether you have performed similar tasks to the one you`re interviewing for.
• Why you left your last job.
• Any promotions.

Do not use someone for a reference unless you have their permission. You need to be sure that you are asking the appropriate people to write a letter of reference or to give you a verbal reference. Don’t include contact information in your resume of past employers who may not want to be contacted by your future employer. You should contact your employment references, let them know your situation and discover for yourself during the conversation whether they would be a good reference.

When you know the people who are ready to give you a positive reference, collect their information in one document and give it to the employer when you go for an interview. The appropriate time to give reference information is at the end of an interview.

Some companies have company policies that forbid giving information on former employees because there are a lot of cases where employees are suing former employers for speaking about references and potentially costing them a job. Due to concerns about litigation, they will only provide job title, dates of employment, and salary history. Even if your former company has such a policy, it’s prudent to speak to your reference and make sure they will serve as good references.

Tips for Managing Employment References

  1. Think wisely who your references could be, let them know that you are applying for a job and ask if they would be willing to be a reference for you.
  2. Add someone who knows you well. This person will be available to give accurate, honest and realistic description of your personality and work ethic.
  3. Never provide employment references to hiring consultants without first discussing it with your reference and asking for their permission. You want willing, enthusiastic, available references.
  4. When a potential employer asks for employment references, only give them 3 of your 5 references. Keep the other 2 for back up in case they have difficulty getting a hold of someone.
  5. Update and do modifications to your reference list. Make sure your references are up to date and link them to your most recent job experience.
  6. Call your past employers or managers and let them know they might be getting a call from a hiring manager.
  7. Do good presentation. When including your references, make sure it is easy to read and done on a nice sheet of plain paper.
  8. Thank your past employer for the given references.
  9. Maintain your professional network. Maintaining your reference network with intermittent phone calls or notes to get and give updates is important. Have an active network in place because you never know when you might need it.

There are two types of references that employers may ask for. They can ask for a professional reference from a previous employer or manager or a character reference from a person who knows you.

Whichever reference you decide on prepare it with caution and accuracy, because you don’t want to lose your potential job offer because of some mistake regarding your references or comments about you.


Marc Aaron Goldbach attorney at Goldbach Law Group handles all sorts of employee rights and compensation. If you find your former company forbids to provide accurate information, you have rights to make company accountable, you should immediately contact employment lawyer in Long Beach for help. You can also Call us at (562) 696-0582/ (562) 216-8296.

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