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5 Reference Request Best Practices

  • 17 September 2020
  • Aptus
  • Career Tips

You’ve found the perfect job, tailored your application and did fantastic in the interviews. All that’s left is passing your reference check and we all know that a great reference can go a long way. Hiring managers and recruitment agencies often use references to validate everything up to the interview stages. Think of it as the cherry on top – necessary to make the entire hiring process more certain. Our recruiters share five things you need to know when asking someone to be your reference:

 
#1
Think carefully about who you ask to be your Referee
 

You’d want to make sure that this person can speak to your abilities as an employee.

It’s most common (and preferred) to have former supervisors or managers as your referees, however, you can also consider colleagues, business acquaintances or clients that you have worked closely with as they can vouch for your character and therefore make excellent references.

 
#2
Know how to phrase your Reference request
 

Position your request as to whether the person you are asking to be your referee is comfortable to provide you with a good reference (not just a reference) i.e. ask ‘Would you be able to serve as a reference and provide a positive recommendation for me?’

 
#3
Provide relevant materials
 

Your updated resume will make your referee’s life a whole lot easier in providing a strong reference. Remember to let them know the position you are applying for, as in this way, they can also focus on your most relevant credentials.

Do also include your contact details in case they have any further questions to clear up immediately.

 
#4
Be clear
 

A subject line like ‘Reference Request – [Your Name]’ is straightforward, simple and clear.

Being clear and straightforward doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check in, ask how they have been and share your next steps. In fact, it’s important you do.

 
#5
Remember to give thanks
 

It’s never too early to say thank you. When requesting for your reference, show your appreciation and let them know that you would be happy to do the same for them in the future.

Once you have accepted the job you interviewed for, make sure to send a thank-you message to your referee for everything they did on your behalf and that you sincerely appreciate it.

 
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