The most critical part of asking for reference is “whom” and “how”. Your references play a critical role in selection process. The way you approach also plays an important role. You need to be very confident about the mindset the person going to recommend you holds about you. Your selection or rejection for a job is highly influenced by the references you provide.

Preparing a list of references should be given as much consideration as designing your resume or being aware of the interview questions. You need to have a careful selection of people who can recommend you. Here are a few guidelines on how to ask for a reference.

How to Ask for a Reference


Firstly, prepare a list of probable people who can serve as a genuine recommendation for you. Go back to your past employers, mentors, supervisors and then pick out few suitable ones.  While identifying them, keep in mind those who had always praised you for your accomplishments.


It’s always important that you contact the identified set of people in the right way. The way you approach also makes a difference in your recommendation. Call them up and explain the scenario. Your tone should seek for request rather than a casual call. Very politely ask them if they have time for it, never put unnecessary pressure on them if they are not willing to help you.

Provide Required Information

Once the person you contacted is willing to recommend you, provide him/her with job description and other necessary information. Brief him/her on what the job demands. This will give the referee an idea on which all aspect of your personality should be stressed more while recommending you. Be frank about your need for the job.

Follow Up

Once you receive the references, take a moment to write a Thank You note to them. Each time you provide their names to recruiters, inform them. Whether you get the job or not, inform them about the outcome. Following up helps you to establish a relationship with them in such way that they will be ever ready to help you.

Winning a positive feedback depends upon your effort towards building a relationship with the referee. Just asking for reference is not enough. You need to be able to analyze their willingness to help you. Always show your eagerness to help them in the best possible way you can from your end.

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