Many job candidates make a big mistake when they treat their references as an afterthought. In reality, if you truly want a job, you need to be intentional when it comes to choosing your references.

While it’s perfectly acceptable to casually say, “References Available Upon Request” on your resume at the bottom, you must actually have them prepared (and ready to quickly hand over during your interview)!

4 Ways Your References Should Talk About You

When choosing your references, it can be helpful to consider what you want them to be able to confidently say about you. This can help you narrow down your options to find the best list to provide the hiring team.

1. They Should Discuss Your Professional Life Only

It’s important that you choose a reference who will stay focused on talking about you in your professional role at the company and not get tempted to interject any personal information about you. Even if given in a friendly context, your reference needs to understand that they know these personal things about you in confidence and that these details are not to be shared.

2. They Should Highlight Improvements or Growth

Everyone has weaknesses or moments when they haven’t performed (or even behaved) their best. Your reference should focus on how you’ve grown or showed improvement, rather than those shortcomings.

3. They Should be Enthusiastic

Choose a reference who will speak enthusiastically about you to the hiring team. While some people may just be generally unenthusiastic, it is still important to choose a reference who can speak lively about your contribution to the company and get the hiring team excited about the prospect of bringing you on board.

4. They Should be Ready for the Call

Your reference should be expecting the call because you let them know that you included them in your list. When you let them know that you are including them as a reference, also fill them in on the job position and requirements. This can help guide your reference’s discussion with the hiring team.

Learn More About How to Ace Your Next Interview

For more guidance on how to impress the hiring team at your next interview, contact Integrative Staffing Group.

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