Job hunting can feel overwhelming at times. From the lengthy application questions, to inputting your name, number and email over and over again, the process can get tiresome.

Just when you might feel like giving up, you get some good news! A potential employer liked your background and would like to contact your references to learn more about you. These references are extremely important in the final selection process. Do you have these readily available? You don’t want to create a delay or appear unprepared.

Now comes the hard part; of all the people in your life, how do you choose the best job references? Here are four points to consider:

1.       Consider the type of reference. Who has had the opportunity to witness your accomplishments, your work ethic, your professional abilities? Also think about those who have seen your personal triumphs, how you interact with others, or how you overcame adversity on a character level. Create a long list, then narrow it down based on the type of reference you’d like to provide.

2.       Always ask their permission. Even if you have a close relationship with the reference, don’t assume they will be comfortable talking to a potential employer. Let them know what you’re hoping they will add to your application. It might even be helpful to share your resume with them, along with the potential job and why you chose them to be a reference.

3.       Double-check their contact info. Providing out-of-date contact information will be frustrating to the interviewer and appear careless on your part. Include two different methods of contact, preferably email and phone, as well as their current work title.

4.       Use reciprocated references. One of the best resources to use is someone who has used you as a job reference in the past. They will be happy to return the favor and they will remember how important your feedback was in their job search. Never be afraid to ask for the favor to be returned.

Having the list ready, and your references prepped, can move you to the front of the line for the next steps of the interview process. This is one of the best ways to plan ahead in your job search so when the time comes, you’re ready and there is little work involved on your part.

Keep working on that resume, keep your references updated on your job search and keep looking for your ideal job! Contact the experts at WSI Healthcare Personnel for help with your resume, job search, and how we can put you to work.