How To Prepare Your References

When a potential employer asks for your references, it’s important that you select the right people and properly inform them of the positions you’re applying for.  It could make or break the job on offer to you.  We’ve put some tips together to make sure you present your references in the best way possible.


It’s key that you have a strong group of relevant and current references to select from.  Choose references who:

  • Knows your strengths
  • Will speak positively about you
  • Can discuss your skills and experience in detail
  • Can discuss relevant skills and experience in support of the job application

These people could be managers who you’ve worked closely with, supervisors or managers from other departments, clients or colleagues.  However, you must always ask and confirm their permission to use them as a reference before putting them down as one.  It’s also important to make sure their contact information is correct.


You must let your referees know that you are job searching and that you would like to use their information in the application process.  If and when you hear back from any position you have applied for, provide the referee with a description of the job role, who will be contacting them and when.  Make you and your referee are both on the same page when it comes to discussing your relevant skills and attributes.  Anyone giving a reference is there to help promote you in the best way possible and to give a potential employer honest feedback, so it’s important to prepare them in advance.


Keep Good Relationships
It’s paramount to keep a good working relationship with your referees.  By keeping in contact, you keep the relationship strong and therefore they will show you in the best light when giving their account of you.  If you have chosen a referee that you haven’t worked particularly close with or you haven’t spoken to in a while, it most likely won’t do you any favours.

And make sure what it says on your CV corresponds with what your referee is going to say – don’t get tripped up at the last hurdle!

Good luck and let us know if you have any tips of your own!