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References? How To Secure The Strongest References For Your Job Search

Michael M. DeSafey -- If you don't think references are important, consider that over 90% of all employers make their final hiring decision based on what your references say about you.

Today, one of the most important aspects of a successful job search and obtaining that next career advancement opportunity will most likely come down to your references.

Over 90% of all employers make their final hiring decision based on what your references say about you.

New employers often check references to find out what type of employee you were, how you worked with others, the quality of your skills and qualifications, as well as, confirm the legitimacy of the information you have provided on your resume.

Who you use as a reference is very important to your overall job search and you need to give some serious consideration as to who you want to use as a reference. Most employers like to see your past employers, your superiors, coworkers, or clients as references.

The following are four tips that will help make your references much stronger.

1. Never list your references on your resume.

The best method for providing references is to wait for an employer to ask for a few references. This request usually occurs after the interview and the employer has some serious interest in hiring you. By providing references at this time it will allow you to strategically select references that will provide the employer the most relevant information about your skills and qualifications, based on the job you are interviewing for.

2. Speak with your references before submitting them to an employer.

The worst thing you can do is list an individual as a reference without telling them that you are going to use them as a reference. You want to speak with all your potential references ahead of time. Ask for permission to use them as a reference and make sure they are willing to give you a good reference.

3. Provide them with all the information that they may need to prepare them for what an employer might ask.

If a potential employer is planning on calling your references and asking about a specific skill set or qualification; then talk with your reference about that. Refresh their memories about your skills, go over what you want your references to focus on to provide the employer as much relevant information as possible.

4. Always keep in communication with your references.

Having particularly strong references that you can use throughout your career is essential. You always want to keep in touch with those individuals, just to check in sometimes, stay in touch and see how they are doing. By keeping the relationship fresh and maintaining the business connection your references will last throughout your career.


Michael DeSafey is a leading executive recruiter for professionals in the construction, engineering and environmental industries. He is currently the President of Webuild Staffing To learn more about Michael or to follow his Blog please visit

© 2017 Michael M. DeSafey

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