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References Job Applications



Many employers prefer work references. If your work references are all from another country, you might include at least one on your list as long as they are comfortable to speak in English, are accessible through email or Skype, and have some understanding of the position you are applying for.




references job applications


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If possible, you should choose someone who has supervised you professionally or who has worked closely with you. A manager, supervisor or even a co-worker from a casual job may be able to speak to your work habits or transferable skills (the skills that you can take from one job to another). They can say, for example, that you are reliable, friendly, organized, and a good problem solver. Other references could include someone who is aware of your work habits or skills through your volunteer or community work.


Academic references are also acceptable and may even be preferable, depending on the situation. If you have been to school recently in Canada, consider asking your teacher to be a reference for you, particularly if you think they can speak positively about your skills and character.


Character references can substitute for work references if there are no other alternatives. They can be friends, a landlord, clients or anyone who can speak to your good personal qualities such as your honesty, dependability, good nature, etc. If they have firsthand knowledge of your work skills, that is even more useful. Close relatives are not generally acceptable references and neither are people who do not know you well.


You may not want to include references from areas of your life you prefer to keep private or that may conflict with your interviewer's values. For example, personal counsellors, therapists, religious leaders or leaders of political or military parties in your home country may not always be appropriate references.


If you still do not have enough references, you may want to consider taking a course in your field of interest. If you participate in class and make a good impression, the teacher or other program staff may be willing to act as a reference for you. Volunteering is also a good way to develop references. However, some organizations do not provide references for volunteers, so it is a good idea to check what the policy is.


You should ask someone if they will be a reference for you before you give their name to a potential employer. If they agree, let them know what job you are applying for, how you are qualified, and give them a copy of your résumé. For academic references, it can be useful to remind teachers about your projects or grades.


In this lesson, you'll learn how to choose a reference and what contact information you'll need to get from each of them. In addition, we'll show you how to write and format a list of references to give to potential employers.


When it comes to references, choosing the right person is often just as important as the reference itself. The best candidates are people who are familiar with your talents, skills, and performance in the workplace. Alternatively, you can choose someone who isn't familiar with your work but who can speak to other important qualities you may have, such as honesty, dependability, creativity, or strength of character.


You should keep the need for references in mind throughout your career, not just when you're applying for a new job. If you take the time to build relationships and consistently use networking strategies, you'll have plenty of candidates to choose from. To learn more about networking, visit Networking Basics in our Job Search and Networking tutorial.


Because your list contains your references' personal information, it's common practice NOT to give your references to potential employers unless you are asked. Employers may ask for your references during or after an interview, or when you are completing an application.


Once you've secured at least three references (or up to six for higher-level jobs), prepare a list of names and contact information you can give to potential employers. For help, review the tips below.


For each new job opportunity, you should make sure your list of references is the right fit. Think about your relationship with each person. How closely did you work with them? How recently did you work together? How will they explain your qualities to the hiring manager? All these details play a role in who goes on your list. You need to select people who will emphasize your strengths to potential employers.\\n","innerContent":"For each new job opportunity, you should make sure your list of references is the right fit. Think about your relationship with each person. How closely did you work with them? How recently did you work together? How will they explain your qualities to the hiring manager? All these details play a role in who goes on your list. You need to select people who will emphasize your strengths to potential employers.\\n"},"blockName":"core\\/paragraph","attrs":[],"innerBlocks":[],"innerHTML":"It\\u2019s a good idea to prepare a document listing your references so you can have them ready for employers. Here are five people you can include on your list of professional references if you want to land the job:\\n","innerContent":"It\\u2019s a good idea to prepare a document listing your references so you can have them ready for employers. Here are five people you can include on your list of professional references if you want to land the job:\\n","blockName":"core\\/heading","attrs":"level":3,"innerBlocks":[],"innerHTML":"1. Former Employer as a professional reference\\n","innerContent":"1. Former Employer as a professional reference\\n","blockName":"core\\/paragraph","attrs":[],"innerBlocks":[],"innerHTML":"A previous employer can provide the best insight into your work ethic. They know what your responsibilities were at your job and how you handled them.\\n","innerContent":"A previous employer can provide the best insight into your work ethic. They know what your responsibilities were at your job and how you handled them.\\n","blockName":"core\\/shortcode","attrs":[],"innerBlocks":[],"innerHTML":"5 Email Templates to Use When Asking for a Reference\\n","innerContent":"5 Email Templates to Use When Asking for a Reference\\n","blockName":"core\\/heading","attrs":"level":3,"innerBlocks":[],"innerHTML":"2. Colleague\\n","innerContent":"2. Colleague\\n","blockName":"core\\/paragraph","attrs":[],"innerBlocks":[],"innerHTML":"Someone you worked alongside at a previous job, even if they weren\\u2019t your boss, can be an excellent reference. They will be able to speak about things you worked on together and what you achieved as a team. Teamwork is one of the most important soft skills an employer looks for, so having someone to vouch for your teamwork skills is vital.\\n","innerContent":"Someone you worked alongside at a previous job, even if they weren\\u2019t your boss, can be an excellent reference. They will be able to speak about things you worked on together and what you achieved as a team. Teamwork is one of the most important soft skills an employer looks for, so having someone to vouch for your teamwork skills is vital.\\n","blockName":"core\\/heading","attrs":"level":3,"innerBlocks":[],"innerHTML":"3. Teacher\\n","innerContent":"3. Teacher\\n","blockName":"core\\/paragraph","attrs":[],"innerBlocks":[],"innerHTML":"A teacher or professor can provide a really strong reference, especially if they taught a course pertinent to your major. They will be able to talk about the skills you picked up during their course, as well as your personal character.\\n","innerContent":"A teacher or professor can provide a really strong reference, especially if they taught a course pertinent to your major. They will be able to talk about the skills you picked up during their course, as well as your personal character.\\n","blockName":"core\\/heading","attrs":"level":3,"innerBlocks":[],"innerHTML":"4. Advisor\\n","innerContent":"4. Advisor\\n","blockName":"core\\/paragraph","attrs":[],"innerBlocks":[],"innerHTML":"An academic advisor, depending on the amount of time you spent with them, is another great option for a reference. If your advisor is someone who got to know you really well during your college career, they can talk about how you\\u2019ve grown into the professional you are today.\\n","innerContent":"An academic advisor, depending on the amount of time you spent with them, is another great option for a reference. 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