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When you are looking for a job, one of the key parts of the hiring process may involve providing references. Your references can speak to your talents and abilities, and their word often carries a lot of weight among those who are considering hiring you.

Because the testimony your references give can make or break your ability to get hired, it’s important to be strategic in choosing references. Follow these key tips to make sure you are asking the right people to act as your references:

  • Consider whether you have any past bosses you can ask for a reference: The company thinking about hiring you is probably going to want to hear from someone who managed you in the past, because your manager has a unique perspective on your skills. While you may not want to ask your current boss if they do not know you are looking for work, consider whether you have bosses from past positions who would be willing to serve as a reference.
  • Get a mix of different references: It’s a good idea to have several different references who can share different information about your capabilities. For example, you can list managers, co-workers, and people you know from networking events who can speak to different character traits you have.
  • Ask people who know you well: You want your references to be people who truly know what you can offer an employer so they can give specifics about your talents and abilities. A reference who provides nothing but vague platitudes is unlikely to be a good reference that helps you get hired.
  • Know what your references are likely to say about you: You don’t want to ask anyone you aren’t confident will give you a good reference. Ideally, try to find references who can offer insight specific to the job you are applying for – but whatever you do, make sure they won’t have negative comments to make about your abilities.

Even with great references, the job search process can be a frustrating one. If you want to get help from staffing professionals who can maximize your chances of landing a great job with a company you’ll be happy to work for, contact IES Custom Staffing today for help.

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