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  • Publish Date: Posted over 3 years ago

Choosing who to put forward to provide you with a reference is a key part of the job application process; after all your hard work in securing your dream role, you don’t want your efforts to be in vain with a poorly selected referee.

What is a reference?

References act as a third party endorsement – a seal of approval – that you are who you say you are and that you have performed the roles outlined on your CV. They are a beneficial way for potential employers to confirm that they have made the right choice in selecting you as their preferred candidate.

What information will be provided about you?

There are specific details that your current or previous employer can provide when giving a reference; length of employment, job title/role, brief outline of responsibility, overall performance, attendance record and reason for leaving. They can also state whether or not you would be someone that they would look to rehire in the future.

An employer is not obliged to provide a full reference – they may opt to simply provide a factual reference – however if they do, they must ensure that it is fair and accurate.

How many references do I need to provide?

It is normal practice to provide a minimum of two individuals, one of which should be your current or most recent employer. It is not always necessary to detail these on your application – ‘references available on request’ will usually suffice – however if you are required to provide names, there will most likely be an option to indicate that you would only like your referees to be contacted once an offer of employment has been made.

Do I need to put forward my line manager?

Not necessarily, but do select someone who will be able to talk positively about all aspects of your work. This could be your department manager, team leader or company director. It is important to ensure that whomever you wish to put forward, you have spoken to them in advance so they can give their consent and are prepared for request when it comes.

What information will my potential employer require?

When putting forward a person to provide a reference, you will need to supply their full name, their job role (and potentially outline how this relates to your current role) and an up-to-date email address and contact telephone number. Double check what the policy is at your current workplace in case there are specific procedures which need to be followed to obtain references.

I’m not sure who to suggest as my second referee – what should I be looking for?

Most importantly, who you put forward should be someone that you have a good working relationship with – this could be a former employer or colleague, a client or business associate, am customer or possibly a tutor or lecturer if you have recently completed a training or education course. Make sure that whoever you select is someone that you know primarily in a work capacity – not a friend or family member – and that they are familiar with your career progression to date.

And finally...

As well as asking people in advance if they are prepared to provide a reference, make sure you follow up any requests by thanking them for their time and letting them know when you have been successful in securing a new role – you never know when you could be calling upon them again!

Sharp Consultancy specialises in the recruitment of finance and accountancy professionals.  With offices in Leeds and Sheffield our highly experienced team of consultants recruit for temporary, interim and permanent roles across the full spectrum of positions throughout Yorkshire and beyond. CONTACT US today and speak to a member of our team about your next career move.