Let’s cut to the chase. You either have a sweet heart of a boss, or one that is too busy for anyone or anything. When you apply for a job, and your recruitment consultant urgently needs references from previous employers to market you to their client, you don’t want to waste time. Your potential dream job could be on the line!

One sound piece of advice I can give you is; urge your bosses/person you report to to do written references for you.

The reason why I am emphasising this is; what if your referee is on holiday when your recruiter wants to contact them? Having written references saves time, and you know that your references are in order. Plus, you’ll know before the recruiter what your bosses and supervisors think of you. No surprises at the end of the road!

Now, when you request a written reference, there are definite DO’s and DON’Ts.

Choose your referee wisely.

Sometimes the director of the company doesn’t actually come into contact with you on a daily basis. Your supervisor or the person you directly report to may be the better choice to write your reference. You want someone who really knows you, as it clearly shows in a reference if the referee doesn’t know you.

Always let your referee of choice know they have been chosen.

Don’t just give out their number. Let them know. This gives them time to gather their own thoughts, instead of rushing through it.

Always ask politely, never expect a reference.

No one is obligated to agree to provide you with a written reference, so be careful how you ask for it. Always be courteous.

Want to know how to ask for a reference letter? Check out our next blog!

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