Does Using References Help Find A Good Job?
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Does using references help find a good job?

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Senior Manager - PR Firm

Most young (and not so young) professionals are so busy updating and polishing their resumes that they are often guilty of not paying any attention to the references they provide to their potential employers.

Who’s Who

You will first need to decide why you should choose a particular person as your reference. A high-profile individual heading your previous company need not have worked with you and may only have the vaguest idea about who you are. Such a person can only confirm the amount of time you spent with the organisation, but hardly anything more than that.

It’s better to choose someone who is in a commanding position to validate your skill sets and your professional abilities than those with whom you shared only a distant professional relationship and who in no way can throw any light on your competence and work skills.

Asking for permission

It’s of paramount importance that you seek the person’s permission before using him/her as your reference. Once you have zeroed in on the best person to offer as a reference, get in touch with him and ask for his permission and brief the person on your current offer. Calling them or meeting them up in person will allow you to confirm their current contact number and email id.

Here are a few categories of people that you should consider for professional references:


You can always provide the name of the course coordinator or a professor under whom you just completed a diploma or attended classes. Chances are that the program you studied would presumably be relevant to the position you are targeting, so your tutor could confirm your academic achievements and knowledge in this area.

Colleagues who got promoted

Ifyou aren’t able to locate your previous supervisor or manager, it would be an excellent idea to forward the name of a colleague who has been promoted to a supervisory position. A supervisor who had worked with you would be in a great position to corroborate your overall professionalism and contribution within the organisation.

Former clients

Especially if you are appearing for a marketing or a sales position it would pay rich dividends to add the contact number of your former clients. Needless to mention you should call them up to see if they would be willing to act as references. A single satisfied client can accomplish more for your career than a whole army of references. There is really no one better than a previous or existing customer to vouch for your commitment and work ethic.

Gone are the days when the credentials on your resume could land you a dream job. The job market has evolved and you will have to change your strategies in order to stay employable. References can bolster your resume so don’t shy away from using them to impress your employers.