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Getting Professional Employment References

Who and How to Ask for a Professional Reference

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When you're job searching, seeking a promotion, growing your career, or expanding your business it is important to have professional references who can vouch for your abilities. Here's information on who to ask to provide a professional reference, how to ask for a reference, and sample reference letters and lists.

Professional References

Copyright Justin Horrocks

A professional reference is a reference from a person who can vouch for your qualifications. A professional reference is typically a former employer, a colleague, a client, a vendor, a supervisor or someone else who can recommend you for employment. 

How to Ask for a Reference

Copyright Marco Volpi
Information on how to ask for a reference for employment, including the best way to ask someone to be a reference for you, how to make sure the references you get are good, plus sample reference request letters and email messages asking for a reference.

Who to Ask for a Reference

Copyright Getty Images Keith Brofsky
Information on who to ask for a reference for employment, including employer references, professional references, and personal references.

Business References

Photo Copyright Henkster

Examples of business references provided for employment, to recommend the business to other clients, or to provide an endorsement of a contact for business purposes.

Job References

Copyright Jacob Wackerhausen

When you are applying for jobs you'll need to have a list of references ready. Those references should be able to vouch for your skills, abilities and qualifications as they relate to the jobs you apply for. Here's more about who to to use for references when you apply for jobs and how your can help your job search.

References on LinkedIn

Copyright LinkedIn

Here's advice on how to get LinkedIn recommendations, who to ask for references, and how to manage the recommendations you've received.

Professional References Format

Copyright Alison Doyle

When you provide a list of professional references to an employer, you should include your name at the top of the page. Then list your references, including name, job title, company, and contact information, with a space in between each reference. Include at least three professional references, who can attest to your ability to perform the job you are applying for, on your list. Here's how to format a list of professional references for employment or business purposes.

Sample Reference Letters

Copyright Pali Rao

Sample reference and recommendation letters, letter samples for character references, reference and recommendation letter templates, and sample letters asking for a reference.

Reference Lists

Copyright Alison Doyle

When you provide a list of professional references to an employer, you should include your name at the top of the page. Then list your references, including name, job title, company, and contact information, with a space in between each reference.

More About References

Copyright Ryan Fox

It's important to be prepared to provide a list of employment references who can attest to the skills and qualifications that you have for the job you are applying for.  Plan ahead and get your references in order, before you need them. It will save time scrambling to put together a list at the last minute.

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