Guidance on Providing References
As a professional in your field, you must take pride in what you do and your aim must always be to turn every job/assignment into a reference. Your performance, attitude, work ethics, contribution to the team, etc. will determine the quality of your references.
When changing jobs (contract and permanent employment) you will need to provide quality references so that the prospective employer can get that “warm and fuzzy” feel from your references. The quality of your reference can often be the difference in securing or losing a job.
Your references should be from individuals who can vouch for your performance – i.e. your immediate superiors or their managers. Providing Peer(s) or friends/relatives as references is usually seen as a weakness i.e. an indication that quality references from employers (supervisor) are not available.
It is not always easy, as people move around, but you should keep in contact with your references to ensure their memory of your performance is kept “evergreen”. A written reference, obtained at the time of completing/leaving a position/assignment, may be a useful alternative if contact is lost.
When deciding to change your job or your contract assignment is coming to an end, you should assess which 2-3 of your references are best for your next move. Make sure you know how best these individuals can be contacted by prospective employers.
Caution: The individuals who have agreed to provide a reference for you do so in good faith and you should ensure their privacy is protected as much as possible. Do not include references with your resume unless specifically requested to do so by the prospective employer. Use your discretion when providing references to employment agencies – make sure the references will be used for the purpose intended.