Referees and references will always be needed to vouch for you, whether you are searching for a job, furthering your education, growing your business or dealing with related career issues.
In all these scenarios, the recommendations that you receive from your referees can significantly influence your career success.
In this post, we are going to focus on how you can handle referees and references in your job search and as well, how to present references in your CV in the best possible way.
If you are a beginner, the usage of referees and references might appear confusing. Your reference was written by your referee and is thus a document.
In the case of this article, your references is a section of your CV where you provide details about your referees who can vouch for you.
A referee, on the other hand, is a person who can vouch for you professionally, academically, or personally.
How to Manage Your References
References are usually requested in job descriptions where specific information could be needed.
For instance, a job description could request two referees, whilst others could request for three.
Whether a job description requests a reference or not, it is important to still maintain a reference section in your CV.
The following points should be taken into consideration when selecting referees:
Always make sure that the people you are using as your references will be willing to vouch for you as soon as the need arises.
Any undue delay on the part of your referee in vouching for you can spell doom for your search endeavors, even if you perform well after an interview.
We at Sobiaonline always recommend that you have to discuss your search objectives with your referees. Keeping them in the dark will not help at all.
If referees have adequate information about you it will help them to always give your prospective employers very powerful recommendations.
One of the things that puts employers and recruiters off is generic recommendations.
Depending on the degree of familiarity and rapport you have established with your referee, it is possible to always blind copy them when you are applying for jobs.
This will help them to recommend you to employers in the best possible way.
We also advise people who serve as referees to always solicit the feedback of those they are recommending before submitting their recommendations.
How to Select Your Referees?
When selecting references, you will have to look out for people who should be able to vouch for your skills, abilities, and qualifications.
Selecting people who have good communication (written and oral) and writing skills is very desirable.
These days, some companies prefer phone discussions with referees instead of written recommendations.
The person recommending you should be able to defend your interests, qualifications, and abilities in the best possible way, whether in writing or via a phone conversation.
Secondly, it is important to select people you have worked with who preferably supervised your activities in the past.
There is no consensus regarding whether you can present your referees from your current place of work.
Experts who advise against this point out that the last thing you want is for your boss to learn from one of their competitors that you have approached them regarding a new job.
However, in the context of Ghana, we deem it necessary that you provide at least one referee from your current place of work.
This should not necessarily be your “boss”, but someone in a senior position who can vouch for you.
If you think that you do not want your current employer to be contacted, you can state that in your application.
Before you use someone as your referee, you need to make sure that you have discussed it with the person and that they have agreed to it.
During the request, make sure you gauge their eagerness to make an informed decision.
It is also important to verify that you have the correct contact information and discuss how they would want to be contacted.
Generally, your referees should be willing to be contacted via Skype, phone call, or email.
If after discussion with a potential referee, you realize they are not interested in all these channels then, it would be advisable to get those who are comfortable with all these three channels.
How to Ask for References
You can ask for a reference via face-to-face discussion or email.
It is advisable to start the process with a phone call and then meet the person later to discuss your search objectives with him/her.
Always make sure you request confidentiality if need be.
How to Present References in Your CV?
The reference section in your CV is usually the last item.
It is acceptable to just write a section heading titled “References” and then comment ” available upon request” below.
In the context of Ghana, it is advisable to add at least two references to your application.
Do not number the references but rather present it in the format below:
Name of Referee
Name of Agency
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