Rules of References
References are a crucial part of the job seeking process. They usually come after you have conducted at least one interview with the potential employer and that employer is interested in you enough that they want to conduct reference checks. They are looking for information regarding your work ethic, professionalism and performance among other things.

Your references could be the difference between you and another candidate getting the offer, so it is important that you put some thought into who you use as a reference.

Be sure to update references each time you job search. You need at least three to four people who you have worked with and who are allowed to discuss your work, as some companies have a policy against giving references for former employees.

Some other Rules of References:
  • Make sure the reference is positive, knowledgeable and is able to communicate well. You want them to be an extension of your professionalism, so impressions are important here as well.
  • You could include former bosses, peers or even affiliated businesses as references. Diversity is good.
  • References should include the name, title, phone number and e-mail.
  • References should not be included on a resume, but on a separate sheet of people. Continue your branding by using the same font and header as your resume.
  • Be sure to communicate with your references and ask for permission to use them and let them know to expect phone calls from perspective employers.
  • Remember to ask references to enter a testimonial into your LinkedIn Profile; many employers are looking you up as part of the screening process.
  • If you want to use someone as a reference and you are not sure if they will say good things about, then it is best to not use them.
  • Generally speaking, don¡¦t use family members or personal friends. However if you have worked for your Mom, Dad, Uncle or other family members, then make sure you put down their professional title and not refer to them as "Mom, Dad or Uncle."
Thank your references by sending hand written letters or at the least, an e-mail. Let them know when you have a job. They too become invested in you as a reference and in most cases, want to know how things turn out. It is a courtesy to them. Remember they supported you by offering up their credibility and time to speak with potential employers.