Who should be a referee?
Deciding whom to use as a reference can be complicated. Your referee has to know first-hand about your job skills and personality, but also, they have to support your job application. If they do not care whether you get the job or not, the information, they give your potential employer may not be as comprehensive as required and may be lackluster. Your ideal referee should be an articulate person who can speak well on the phone and can write clearly and concisely. If they are not fluent English speakers, be sure that they are comfortable speaking English over the telephone – if not, don’t include their phone number.
What should they say about you, the job seeker?
Your referee should be able to talk about your character – how you get along with others, your reliability, and your work ethic and attitude to taking on challenges; your education – your school qualifications and how this knowledge has been of benefit to their firm; your work experience – what you did, how well you did it, and when you did it (dates); your communication skills – both written and spoken, including presentation skills; and your potential – how you have the attitude to grow into a new job.
When should I include references on my CV or resume?
No. Space on your CV or resume is precious, so every pixel should be used to convey your skills and accomplishments. In some professions, such as those related to academia, public sector, or government, the potential employer will ask for references to be included. To comply, create a separate reference sheet and submit it as the last page of your CV or resume. Never put “References are available upon request” on your CV or resume because you’d never put “An interview with me is available upon request”!
When will I be asked for references?
Usually, references are requested at or after the interview. Prepare them alongside your CV or resume. Have them ready, both as a hard copy to hand over to the interviewer and as an attachment to an email.