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Career Advancement Minute: Job references

April 04, 2013

Suzanne Marsh, Career Counselor, provides tips on choosing job references that best represent you and your abilities as a competent, dynamic candidate to a potential employers.



When thinking about how to select who you want to chose for job references, it is important to think of someone who knows you and your work product well, not just somebody who likes you. Ideally it will be someone who you have worked with recently and someone who can speak specifically about your work. It also helps to have a wide range of references, perhaps a faculty member, someone you have worked with recently, and perhaps someone you worked with on a volunteer project.

Once you have made these selections, you should call the person to make sure the person is willing to serve as your reference and also ask them if they prefer to be contacted either by phone or by email.  Sometime this can get tricky, if for example you are looking for a job while you are currently employed and you don’t want your current employer to know you are job searching. If this happens, just ask your interviewer if they will not contact that employer until they are further along in the process, ideally right before they are ready to make you an offer. 

Transcript edited for length.