Who Should You Ask for a Reference?

Today I’m going to talk about references—the appropriate time to ask for references, and who to ask for a reference.

References are a vital step in securing a new role. It gives prospective employers a chance to get insight into your background, your successes, and shortcomings in different areas, and how you addressed those in the past.

The best time to ask for references is when you’re near the end of a search process. You may have gone through several interviews and are expecting an offer here shortly. You want to reach out to the references you have listed and give them a heads up that they may get a call from either a recruiter, HR, or a hiring authority. Give them the authority to give transparent feedback about you and your character.

“References are a vital step in securing a new role.”

The best person to ask to be listed as your reference would be your most recent supervisor. As a new hiring authority, they really want to hear from a previous supervisor about the best way to manage you, how you excelled, how you acclimated yourself to a previous company, as well as your shortcomings.

If you worked in teams before and had co-workers whom you knew and trusted, those would also be a great reference for you. This would give prospective employers insight on how you worked in a team environment

Lastly, if you’re new to the workforce and you haven’t had a lot of work experience but have recently graduated, a professor would be an excellent person to reference. They can share how you performed within their class and how you fit into various projects you may have done.

If you have any other questions about when to ask for references or who you should ask to be your reference, feel free to reach out to us. We’d be happy to help.