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Helping Your Case: How to Professionally Ask for References

You want help to land your ideal job. Because, even though you have a great resume and cover letter, you need all the help you can get to further your career. Fortunately, you can ask for professional references that can vouch for your skills and experience. Of course, you first need to ask people to serve as your references. This can be challenging. But, with the right approach, you can professionally ask for references and move one step closer to growing your career.  

3 Tips to Help You Professionally Ask for References 

If you are worried about asking someone to serve as your reference, you are not alone. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to professionally ask for a reference without the risk of souring your relationship with someone you know. These include:   

1. Choose the Right People as References

Consider the job you want to land before you ask someone to be a reference. In doing so, you may be able to identify someone that can tell a potential employer how you can handle the duties associated with a particular position.  

Also, it can be beneficial to select a reference you worked with or interacted with recently. This individual may be a current or former manager, coworker, or teacher. He or she can provide a prospective employer with the most up-to-date insights on how you can help their organization thrive.  

 2. Reach Out to Your References

As soon as you decide on a reference, reach out to this individual right away. At this point, you can ask this individual if he or she can serve as a reference. When you do, be polite and open to answering any questions. You should also resist the urge to pressure someone to be a reference.  

Oftentimes, a person will be delighted to serve as a reference. However, if someone has concerns about being your reference, address them. And, if an individual does not feel like he or she can do their best to be your reference, you should continue to look elsewhere for support.  

3. Keep the Lines of Communication Open 

Once you ask someone to be your reference and this individual says yes, continue to provide him or her with updates during your job search. If you apply for a contractor position or any other role in which a potential employer may reach out to your reference, notify this individual accordingly. You can then help your reference prepare for a phone call or email from a prospective employer.  

Remember, your references want to help you and have your best interests top of mind. As you move forward with your job search, you may be able to contact your references for extra help along the way. In addition, you may be able to help your references if they decide to explore new career opportunities.  

Ready to Find Your Dream Job? Elby Professional Services Can Help! 

At Elby Professional Services, we can put you in touch with top employers and help you find a job that suits you perfectly. To get started, browse our job board today.    

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