Who should I ask for references?

To have access to certain jobs, employers may ask you for references from previous jobs, so it’s important to have them prepared. However, it’s possible you don’t know who to ask. Don’t worry.

Usually, employers ask for three references, so you should think of at least three people willing to recommend you. It’s important to know them well, choose the right people and get their permission to use the references. You need responsible people who can confirm you’ve worked in a certain company, your position, reason for quitting and other details. It’s also very important you know well what they’re going to say about you, your career and performance.

It’s perfectly fine to use references different from your employer or supervisor: business people, University teachers, clients, can give good references. You can also use other members of the company as personal references.

When you quit a job, you should ask your supervisor for a letter of recommendation. Time goes by and people move constantly so it’s easy to lose contact with past employers. Asking for a letter of recommendation, you make sure you’ll have the written documents you’ll need for future employers in advance. If you haven’t done it yet, it’s never late to go back and ask past employers for letters to add to your personal archives.

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