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Make Your References Relevant

By: Lisa Fife

References can oftentimes be the deciding factor in a hiring decision, when a hiring manager is deciding between multiple qualified candidates. Choosing great references doesn't have to be hard, but it is important. You will want to choose relevant references that can discuss your skills and abilities relating to the position that you are applying for.

Start with finding references that are in the field or type of work that you are applying for. Also, think about peers and former bosses that can speak to your expertise and professional qualities, that will be of interest to your potential future employer. Be sure to include those who can attest to your character, in additional to your performance.

We also recommend that you contact your potential references, to get their permission to use them as a reference. It is also a great idea to give your references a copy of your resume, and discuss the job or type of job you are applying for, so that they can give you a positive and appropriate reference to help you get the job. You can also ask them what their preferred method of contact would be, so you can be sure the hiring manager is able to contact them successfully.

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