For those of you out there who are looking for a bit of money, the idea of getting a job has no doubt crossed your mind (though it may have been after you considered a career as a full-time survey taker). However, getting a job isn’t as simple as it sounds. Employers want excellent employees and the best way to judge the value of an employee is to speak to someone who can vouch for them. That’s where references come in. References are just people who are able to speak for you as a person or as a worker. It’s extremely important that you ask for a reference from anyone you want one from, instead of just providing their contact details to an employer without their permission.

References generally come in two forms: a reference letter, or simply the references contact information.

It doesn’t particularly matter which you pick unless you’ve been told otherwise by an employer. Some references may prefer to provide a signed reference letter that detail your skills, others may prefer prospective employers to give them a call.

For the most part, references can be split into three categories: character references, academic references, and professional references.

Character References

Character references are from friends, or people who know you. They should never be from a relative because that looks unprofessional. Character references probably aren’t going to speak about your professional skills. Instead, a character reference talks about what you’re like as a person. These sorts of references are handy to have if you’re applying for a customer service job, since friendliness is important and a character reference will definitely be able to talk about that. As with all references, it’s a good idea to make sure that you can trust the person who’s offering to give a reference. As such, it’s perhaps not a good idea to get a reference from your teenage friends. Instead, speak to a family friend who has known you for a long time.

Academic References

Academic references are references from your teachers at school, or lecturers at college. For one of these, just pick your favourite teacher and ask them for a reference. Most teachers would be more than happy to provide a reference. Academic references are good because your teachers can vouch for your work ethic which can definitely give you an edge over other applicants at a part-time job.

Professional References

Professional references are references from past employers, clients, or business associates who are able to attest to your ability to perform a certain job well. Given that you’re here on Part-Time Job Hunt, you may not have any professional references and that’s okay.

Anyway, now that you’ve got your references, what do you do with them? Most people advise that you do not put your references on your CV or resume. Instead, they propose that at the bottom of your CV or resume, you simply just add the sentence “references available upon request”. Employers will ask you to bring references with you if they would like to see them. I would advise that you simply create a list of references in Word and print it off, ensuring that each reference has a full name and some method of contacting them then bring it to the interview on request.

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