Preparing Good References

Preparing Good References

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Preparing Good References

Make it as easy possible for your prospective employer to call the people you want them to talk to. Quite frankly, many people are lazy. If you give them a number of people and make it easy for them to reach them, the potential employer will probably not dig deeper and eventually find the one person who does not like you.

List eight to ten people including those:

  • For whom you have worked,
  • Who have worked for you,
  • Who are or were your colleagues and peers, and
  • From the community who know your work.
Note that the most important are the people for whom you have worked and who have worked for you. Most recruiters are not interested in personal references. What your next door neighbor has to say likely has very little to do with your abilities.
Include one or two sentences explaining for each reference explaining who the individual is and what your relationship with them has been.

For example, "Keith Stahley was my assistant village manager while I was the Village Manager of Wellington." That way, the potential employer knows the context when he/she calls and/or can decide which references she/he wants to call.

Do not list family members. They are not considered to be an unbiased source of information.

  • It is a good idea to ask a friend to call your references to find out what they will say about you.
  • Even people who like and respect you may not always consider the implications of what they say about their experiences with you.
  • Also, people may not have told you about some flaw(s) they perceived in your management style, yet they may well feel comfortable telling the prospective employer.

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