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Professional references are also important in any resume because of the role they play in recommending employers. You should look for the right ones. Here is how you can choose the best professional references for your resume.
6 rules to follow when choosing your professional references
These people must:
1. Be able to speak positively about your know-how and your interpersonal skills
You must discuss with the people who can serve as your references well before launching your mailings of applications. Offer to recuse themselves freely if they don’t think they are the right person. It is better to take the time to find better references than to take the risk of having a bad comment from them.
2. Complement each other in terms of hierarchical levels
Your references can be:
- your current or previous manager;
- a colleague;
- an employee directly under your responsibility;
- a professional mentor.
Ideally, opt for a hierarchically superior or associated person (manager, investor, mentor, etc.), a second who has worked under your control, and a final one who was at the same level as you.
3. Complement each other also in terms of business skills
If you are applying for a regional sales manager offer, your references should ideally come from sales, marketing, and strategic or even technical professions.
4. Feel comfortable that you are looking for a new professional adventure
If your current boss is one of your potential references, make sure he agrees with your initial desires.
5. Be ready to play the game
Accepting a referral means making yourself available during the next three to six months to take an impromptu call from a recruiter. It also means repeating your story and what you think of the candidate for the umpteenth time.
6. Be relevant to the industry
The list of references you will provide to your future employer will only be part of a larger list of references you will have contacted.
If your job search targets tourism companies and retail sales, your professional reference database should ideally contain people who come from or have worked in some way in one or the other of these two sectors of activity.
How many references should I include in my resume?
Three to five references are usually sufficient. But it all depends on your level of seniority. A young graduate or a junior collaborator could be satisfied with two to three references. A person with a more extensive professional background will submit five contacts to the recruiter or even more. The objective will then be to allow the latter to form an informed opinion on the different aspects of this rich professional experience.
It is also possible that the recruiter himself will tell you the number of references to give him. As specified above, it is not certain that the employer will get in touch with all the contacts made available to him. But even if he joins only one, seeing that several people are ready to commit to defending your candidacy personally is undoubtedly reassuring.
How do I include references on my resume?
For consistency, keep the same typeface between your list of references, your CV, and your cover letter.
Here is the pattern to follow:
- the name of your reference contact;
- his position;
- their employer or company;
- the address of his business;
- the telephone number of your reference;
- his email address.
Also, add a short description of the professional context in which you worked (place, date, type of professional relationship).
Once your job search is complete, don’t forget to thank your professional references, whether or not they were contacted during your recruitment process.
Perhaps you will soon be referring to an application.