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Use the below advice to help build a strong reference list.

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When you are applying for jobs, your resume is one of the most important tools you have to get the job you want. 

One of the most important parts of your resume is your list of references. 

Employers will often ask for at least 2-3 references to contact to learn more about your skills and experience. 

Putting together a strong resume can be the difference between getting an interview and not getting past the first round.

With a well-chosen set of references, you can increase your chances of getting the job you want.

Who should your references be? 

Who should I use as a job reference?

Choosing your references is an important task that should not be taken lightly.

You want to choose the right people who can speak positively about your skills and abilities that will help you get the job you’re applying for.

Former bosses, professors, or clients are all good choices.

It is also important to choose references who are currently employed in a similar field as the job you are applying for.

For example, if you’re applying for a job in customer service, your references should be people who can attest to your good customer service skills. 

Or if you’re applying for a job in sales, your references should be people who can attest to your sales skills. 

Be sure to ask your references if they are willing to provide a reference for you before you include them on your resume.

It’s also a good idea to let them know what the job entails so they can be prepared to discuss it if called.

Who should you not use as a reference?

It’s common practice to use references on your resume to attest to your skills and qualifications.

However, there are some people you should avoid using as references, even if they are qualified.

Here are a few people you should avoid using as references:

1. Former bosses or colleagues who you were fired from or didn’t get along with. These people may be biased against you or may not want to speak positively about you. 

2. Your friends or family members. While they may be willing to provide a reference, they may not be able to speak objectively about your work history or skills. Additionally, they may be biased in their endorsement of you. 

3. People who don’t know you well. References should be people who can speak to your skills and abilities, so someone who doesn’t know you well won’t be able to provide much insight.

Can a friend be a reference?

It might seem like a no-brainer to ask your friends to be your references, after all, you’re friends, right?

Well, it depends.

First of all, your friend is likely not qualified to speak about your work experience or skills. 

They may only know what they’ve seen of you in social situations, which isn’t the most accurate representation of your abilities. 

Additionally, if your friend is contacted by a potential employer, they may not feel comfortable speaking highly of you or they may not know how to answer specific questions about your work history. 

Unless your friend is your supervisor or manager in your previous job, then they would make an excellent reference. 

They can talk about the times you’ve gone above and beyond, your teamwork skills, and how you’ve helped the company achieve its goals. 

But if they’re not, it’s best not to have them as professional references.

Can you use someone at your current job as a reference?

Many job seekers wonder if they can use someone at their current job as a reference.

The answer is usually yes, but there are some things to keep in mind.

If you’re thinking about using a current colleague as a reference, first check the company’s policy on references.

Some companies do allow current employees to use their supervisors as references, but even then it’s best to check with the company first to make sure that’s okay.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to something as important as a job reference.

Who do you add as references on a resume if you never had a job?

If you have never had a paid job, you may be wondering who you should list as references on your resume.

While it is not always required to include references on your resume, if you do choose to list them, it is important to select people who can speak positively about your skills and experience.

1. Professors

Your best bet is to ask former professors or instructors if they would be willing to act as a reference. They can speak to your academic achievements and abilities, which can be beneficial when applying for jobs that are related to your field of study.

2. Leaders or Coaches

If you have volunteered or done any extracurricular activities, ask coaches or leaders of those organizations to provide a reference for you. They can talk about your leadership skills, teamwork skills, or any other skills that you may have developed while participating in the organization.

3. Former classmates

Another good option is to ask a former classmate if they would be willing to be a reference for you. They can attest to your skills and abilities from when you were in school together.

Is it OK to say “references are available upon request”?

It can be tempting to include the phrase “references are available upon request” on your resume.

But don’t do it! This phrase is unnecessary and can actually hurt your chances of getting the job.

Employers already know that references are available upon request – there’s no need to remind them.

If you have references, be sure to list them on your resume.

And when you’re asked for references, be prepared to provide them promptly. 

What is the proper way to list references?

When you list references on your resume, you should include the following information:

1. Name of reference
2. Title or position
3. Company or organization
4. Telephone number 
5. Email address 

Here’s an example:

John Doe
XYZ Company

Keep in mind that when writing your resume, there’s a specific order that you should follow.

You need to list your references in chronological order, with the most recent reference first.

This will ensure that potential employers will see your most current and relevant references first. 

How To Make Your Resume Stand Out In Today’s Competitive Job Market

In today’s competitive job market, your resume is more important than ever.

A well-crafted resume can help you stand out from the competition and get the job you want.

But crafting a great resume can be difficult, especially if you don’t know where to start.

Here are a few tips to help you create a resume that will impress potential employers:

1. Make sure your resume is well-written and error-free. Typos and grammatical mistakes will make you look unprofessional and may cost you the job. 

2. Use strong action verbs. When describing your experiences and skills, use strong action verbs to help convey your level of experience and expertise.  

3. Use bullet points to list your skills and experience. This makes it easy for potential employers to scan your resume and see what you have to offer.

4. Use a modern design that catches the employer’s eye. Use clean fonts, bold headers, and interesting graphics to help your resume stand out. 

5. Customize your resume for each job application. Don’t use the same resume for every job application – tailor it to highlight the skills and experience that are relevant to the position you are applying for.

6. Have someone read your resume. A third party can give you feedback on whether your resume is effective at conveying your qualifications.

7. Keep your resume up-to-date. If there are changes in your career path, update your resume with new information.

8. Include contact information. Include your email address, phone number, and mailing address on your resume.

9. Always choose the right references. As mentioned, choose people who can talk about your skills and strengths, and who will be able to give the hiring manager a good idea of what it would be like to work with you.

10. Keep it concise. Your resume should be no more than one page long, if possible.

Need Help Finding Your Next Job? 

If you’re finding yourself in the job market, you may be wondering how to best go about finding your next job.

Thankfully, there are plenty of resources out there to help you, and ZipRecruiter is one of them.

ZipRecruiter is a website that allows you to search through millions of jobs and then easily apply for the ones that interest you. 

It also has a feature that takes your skills and interests into account and then finds jobs that would be a good fit for you. 

So if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the job hunt, or just don’t know where to start, give ZipRecruiter a try – it may be the perfect tool for finding your next great opportunity.

Click here to give ZipRecruiter a try today.

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