The Importance of Providing References

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Time and time again we come across excellent candidates, both on paper and in an interview, but a strong and compelling reference is really what will land someone a job.

We’ve compiled a bit of a list to help you avoid being one of these statistics and to ensure your next reference check comes back in your favour.

Make smart choices:

Sometimes it may not be the most senior people in your company that should provide your reference, it’s more important to select someone that can communicate what it was that you did for a role, so often a direct manager or supervisor may be a better option than your company CEO! Your referee will need to be able to persuasively outline your achievements and attributes which made you a success. With today’s competitive job market, it’s crucial that you have a few different referees to call upon for both current and past roles.

As a minimum, your referee should be able to outline the following:

  • Role description and duties
  • Confirmation of the dates you were employed
  • Any achievements or accomplishments whilst you were there
  • Their perceived strengths and weaknesses of you

Keep your referees informed:

Whilst it’s no problem to list referees on your resume, you should definitely make sure you have their permission and keep them updated regularly so that they are fully aware of whom they may be receiving a call from, and what the role specifics are of the job you’ve been shortlisted for.


It’s important that your referee details are accurate and up to date. Include their full name, job title, phone number, email address and the nature of your relationship. There is nothing worse than calling people only to find out that they no longer work for the company listed, or worse still having out of date phone numbers or email addresses. Mistakes like these could delay your application and mean you may ultimately miss out on an offer. Once notified that you have progressed to the referencing checking stage of a job application, ensure you provide your references promptly!

Be thankful:

A quick phone call or email to thank your referee for their help will go a long way, especially if they are conducting numerous references on your behalf. Make sure you return the favour by providing a reference should they ever need one!

Be honest:

If you’ve been asked to provide a referee and it’s someone that you think will be unwilling to do so, or someone that may be detrimental to your application, then bring this up immediately. Its imperative that you are up front with any issues in your previous role, rather that trying to cover something up… it’s extremely likely that any areas of concern will be uncovered during the vetting process so by being forthcoming, you have the opportunity to address an issues before they arise which is a great reflection on your honesty and integrity.

Thank you

Thank you for contacting us!
We will be in contact shortly.