Career Advice

Tips and Tricks for Getting Great References

Table Mountain Employment 24 October, 2019

When you want to get a new job, one of the things that you'll be asked for is at least one reference. Often, the application requests several references. 

References are important to businesses because they show that you have people willing to vouch for you and to speak on your behalf. They also give the interviewer and business a chance to get to know you better and to talk about you with people who already know you. 

If you don't have a group of solid references yet, you need to start asking people to be willing to give you a reference. How, though, can you make sure those references are the best possible references?

Always Ask First

The first way to guarantee a good reference is to ask someone if they're willing to be a reference for you. Don't just add an old colleague or supervisor to your reference sheet just because you have their cell phone number. If they say they're willing to give a positive reference, that's great. If they refuse, then move on to someone else.

Don't Burn Bridges

When you leave a position, the best thing you can do is to leave on good terms. Doing so means you can ask old bosses and supervisors for a reference, and they won't be able to say that you left on short notice or with no notice, which could hurt your reputation with the new company.

Be a Good Employee

Finally, be a good employee. If you have a spotless track record, even those who don't know you've listed them as references will have nothing negative to say about you. 

References are a great way to make a good impression, so make sure you reach out to those you respect and ask for their permission to add them to your references.