Everything You Need to Know About Providing References

Job Offer Preparation: Three Keys to Getting Your References Ready

You’ve made it to the final round, and an offer should be in your near future!


Now it’s time for reference checking.

  • Who should you give as a reference?

  • What should you tell them?

When you get to the end of the interview process, it’s important to provide several strong employer references.

Get Reference Ready with These Three Tips

1. Provide Colleagues, Managers, and Clients: When employers check references, they want to hear about you from people who have worked with you on the job.

Typically, employers want a manager or two, and perhaps a few colleagues.

Some want to hear from customers, but sometimes this can be sticky and inappropriate depending on the situation.

Hiring managers are not looking for personal references, neighbors, old friends or people who’ve worked with you in volunteer jobs.

2.  Let You References Know Who Will be Calling: If you give your references advanced notice about who will be calling, they can keep an eye out for the call and return it with alacrity.

This small step can help eliminate delayed offers by minimizing phone tag. If you provide an executive reference, you can even include times your reference is available to take the call.

Make sure to give your prospective employer a mobile number, email address, and the references’ current title, employer, and their relationship to you.

3. Remind Your References About Your On the Job Performance: If it’s been a while since you’ve worked for one of your references, let them know what you’re doing now. Remind them of your greatest achievements.

When a manager has several reports, they can remember you were a performer, but they may not remember all the specific details.

Remind them of any significant accomplishments or success you had while working for them. This way when they get the call, they can speak to the specific details of your success.

When it’s time to provide references, follow these three tips and you’ll be ready. When you provide the right people, who are responsive to employer phone calls, you’ll be sure to shorten the time it takes to get an offer.

You’ll avoid providing inappropriate references, phone tag, and general comments. You will also demonstrate your professionalism by the quality of the people you provide to recommend you.