Have you made it to the reference check stage of a job process and been asked to provide references to a prospective employer or recruiter? If so, congratulations! You are in the final stages of receiving a job offer!

Reference checks are incredibly important for us who are hiring and presenting candidates, as it ensure that we are supplying good people who will contribute to their new working environment. As a jobseeker, a good reference can be the thing that tips the scales in your favour and lands you the job offer. It is therefore important to pick people who can speak well of you and provide your future employer with a well-rounded idea of how you are as an employee.

With this is mind, here are 6 tips and pieces of advice for when you have been asked to provide references.

Always ask your referees if they actually want to provide a reference.

Think about who is best suited to speak about the job you have done and the quality of your work.

Referees should ideally have worked with you within the last 5 years.

You want your referees to be able to remember you clearly when they are speaking to your potential future employer.

It is better to ask your former manager than a colleague.

Even though your colleague may know you better, they can’t always speak to the quality of your work.

Provide 2-3 references to start.

Your future employer will tell you if they need any more.

References will always remain confidential.

If not agreed otherwise, so don’t be surprised if you don’t get to find out what has been said about you and by whom – even if you land the job!

Don’t be surprised by a background check.

Here your future employer will check with the educational institutions you have attended that your papers are in order, and former employers may be contacted to confirm your job title and how long you worked with them. If you are applying for a financial position, a credit check will also be performed.

We wish you the best of luck in your jobseeking efforts! Click here for more tips and resources for jobseekers.