How to choose the right references for your CV
The most common way to choose references is to simply state down a couple of previous managers. But there is a far smarter way of making your choice, and will likely increase your chances of success.
If the deciding factor for the employer comes down to your references, it’s vital you choose very wisely. Read on for more information on how to choose the best references for your CV…
Choose a relevant reference
Before you choose a reference you need to ensure they are relevant to the industry. For the most part, a job seeker will have followed a focused career path which means their previous managers will be in a similar industry. However, you still need to ensure your reference can give a relevant review of your performance.
A great way to decide who to choose is to first of all list everyone on a piece of paper. Compare this shortlist with the list of important requirements needed for the new role, and this will now allow you to make a better choice.
If you were applying for a customer service job, it would be better to choose your previous call centre manager over anyone else. As obvious as this may sound, you’d be surprised at how many job seekers fail to recognise the impact this can have.
Choose someone you worked with closely
Stay clear if you can of choosing a manager who didn’t actually interact with you very often, especially if you were a part of a very large team. Your direct line manager or supervisor is the best choice as they will be able to provide a very detailed accurate reference.
If your reference sounds a little vague and less detailed than expected, the new employer might be put off and make the assumption that your reference doesn’t really care too much.
Don’t fall into the trap, as so many others do, of choosing someone really high up in the company to represent you. The CEO of a company may look very impressive on your CV or résumé, but if you hardly came into contact with them it will not do you any favours.
Contact your reference
We would always advise contacting your reference before you put them on your CV. First of all, you should ask for their blessing. Although you don’t need to, it will go a long way to ensuring they are more open to giving a great reference.
Also, by speaking with your reference you can give them a heads up on whom to expect will contact them. You can discuss the role in a little more detail so they are aware of what will be important to the new employer.
Collect their information
Finally, don’t forget to collect the right details for your references. Ensure they are still working at the same place and you have the most recent contact details. If the new employer were to try and attempt to contact your reference only to find they don’t work there, you can see how this wouldn’t look very good!
For each reference you should provide – full name, current job title, direct contact number, email and company address.