After coming up with a great resume and cover letter to help your job search, the final step is to have references prepared to back you up. Identifying the best references for your job search requires some thought and consideration, as you’ll want to choose individuals who can speak favorably about you and your professional experience. You’ll also need to communicate directly with references before passing their contact information along to employers – the last thing you want is for your references to be caught off guard by an unexpected call or email!

Staying connected with previous employers and co-workers can help you find new opportunities in addition to serving as favorable references. As you compile your application materials, check out these tips for selecting references.

Current or Former Managers

Those who manage you (or have managed you in the past) are best positioned to serve as valuable references, as they’ve had direct involvement in overseeing your performance. However, with this being said, you’ll want to be careful about what bosses or former bosses you choose to list as references. For example, it’s obvious that you should not list your current manager as a reference if he or she is unaware that you’re looking for a new job. In this case, it’s better to consider how former managers can speak to your performance from your past employment.

Current or Former Co-Workers

References do not always need to consist of individuals whom you’ve worked under. In many cases, co-workers whom you’ve known for at least a couple years can speak to your skills and work ethic. They can also provide a more insightful perspective of you as a candidate and as a person, shedding light on your professional assets and ability to work well with others. Think about a co-worker whom you’ve developed a positive relationship with in your current job or a past position. Chances are they’ll feel honored to help you in your job search journey!

Community Contacts

You’ll also want to consider the connections you’ve made outside of work, through activities like speaking engagements or volunteering. Individuals in your network who have seen you in this light can speak to your professional endeavors and community involvement, which can showcase you as a well-rounded applicant to employers. Taking an inventory of close contacts in your industry will allow you to put together some potential references in this area.

Acquiring references can be a nerve-wracking process, but you’ll feel relieved once you develop a list of references who will enhance your profile as a candidate! Are you on the search for a new job? Start on the path to success and apply today with On Time Staffing, specializing in warehouse, manufacturing and packing environments.

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