References

9 minutes

Maybe you're wondering what references are. References are the names of people that you've known, perhaps from working together in the past, or an internship experience, or a volunteer position that you've held. It could be someone from your school, like a principal, a teacher, or a counselor. You can decide who to ask to serve as a reference for you and who would be willing to provide information about you to a potential employer. You'll list your references' names, and in the interview the employer may ask you for a list of references. Your references should not be listed on your resume unless an employer specifically asks you to list them on your resume, in which case you may. But that doesn't tend to be the case. When identifying the individuals who you would like to serve as a reference for you, you want to ask their permission to list their name and contact information, so that the employer can contact them and learn a little bit more about you--about your work history. Employers check references in order to determine if you are, in fact, the best qualified candidate for the job that you're applying for. Maybe you don't know what a list of references looks like, but we do have samples that you can utilize to get a better idea. By going online to the PEPNet website, you'll want to look for the title Getting a Job video series, which will bring you to a link called Supporting Documents. From there you'll see a number of different documents, and you want to look specifically for the one titled References. That will allow you to download a sample list of references, which will be helpful to you in creating your own. Maybe you wonder if employers will even contact the references that you list. And, in fact, they certainly will. Employers will contact your references to verify your work history with different companies. Employers are also interested in talking with people who have supervised you or who have watched you at work and observed how well you're able to follow direction. You should know that for any given position, employers receive a number of applicants from which they narrow down the pool to the most qualified candidates, let's say three, who very likely have equal amounts of education and experience. And that's the point at which the employer begins to contact the references that each applicant has provided. They contact these people and begin to have discussions about each candidate's qualifications. They're able to learn more about all three candidates, and through these discussions one of the candidates begins to rise to the top, and the employer realizes that they are the most qualified person for the position. After all, they want to hire someone who can do a good job for them. And since most employers will contact your references, that means that when you're listing your references, you need to make sure that the names and phone numbers that you provide are accurate and current. Whether it's phone numbers or video phone numbers, make sure that you have correct information on your list of references. So whom should you ask to serve as a reference for you? You can't just ask anyone to be a reference. You need to ask people who know you personally. It is best to have somewhere in the range of three to five references listed, depending on your work history. But you should know that there are two different types of references that you can use. The first type of reference is called a professional reference. These are people who have seen you at work and who know your employability, how good of a job you would do if hired. This might be a former employer, a manager, or a supervisor. Another type of reference is called a personal reference. These are people who are familiar with your character and your abilities and who know what type of work you might be good at. There are a number of different people who could serve as a personal reference for you, perhaps a co-worker or a client, a teacher, or just an acquaintance, someone who has seen what type of work you can do and knows what you're capable of. I do want to stress that on your list of references you should not include friends or family members. You also want to include a balance of both professional, as well as personal references. If you don't have any work history to speak of, of course then you would not have professional references listed, and instead you would include personal references. It's important that you make sure when you're identifying people to serve as your reference that you ask people if they're willing to serve as a reference for you and that they will put in a good word for you. You want to ask for people's explicit permission to list their name and contact information. If you are uncertain whether a person will speak well of you, it's best not to list them as a reference. Along your job search, you'll be collecting a number of different documents, which you'll compile in a Job Search Portfolio. And your list of references, both professional and personal, should be included in your portfolio as well.


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What is the purpose of references? In this segment, viewers learn who to include on a reference list, the purpose of references, whether employers even contact references, and what the employer hopes to learn from talking with them. Part of the "Getting a Job" series.

Media Details

Runtime: 9 minutes

Getting a Job
Episode 1
8 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Getting a Job
Episode 2
9 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Getting a Job
Episode 3
7 minutes
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Getting a Job
Episode 4
8 minutes
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Episode 5
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Episode 7
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Episode 8
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Episode 9
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Episode 10
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Grade Level: 9 - 12