Job Reference Etiquette: How to Get Recommended


Q: After 6 years in my current job, I’ve decided it’s time for a career move and a new challenge. I have a good working relationship with my manager, and I’ve consistently had excellent performance reviews. But I don’t want to tip off my boss that I’m looking before I have an offer in hand. Who, then, should I approach for references?

In the last few years, I’ve been active in the Boy Scouts and my church, and thought that people I know from those places could vouch for me. But before I ask them, I have a few questions about the process:

  1. What’s the best way to ask people if they will be a reference?

While these questions don’t seem complicated compared to many you receive, I’m sure I’m not the only person who could use some help figuring out job reference protocol.

A: You’re right. Confusion about references is common among job seekers. Here are some guidelines on how to use work references to successfully find a job:

  1. If you’re hesitant about asking people you know to serve as references

When you have accepted your new position, be sure to thank them for their help by phone or in writing. They’ll want to know their efforts on your behalf played a role in helping you get a new job.

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