Saturday 16 November 2013

Boost your job prospects with a good reference letter!

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 "You will find it a very good practice always to verify your references, sir!"                                                                                               (Martin Joseph Routh)

At some point in the job application process, a potential employer is likely to ask you to provide some references. You might be asked to bring these references for the interview, or at times, submitting them with your application, or even after the interview, where a job offer may be conditional on the references.

Potential employers will expect you to give the name of your current or previous employer and at least one other person, who could be a 'personal' referee. A personal referee may be either a friend, colleague, family member or someone with whom you have worked and had close, professional associations.

Choose your referees wisely.

The following are three questions that you should keep in mind when choosing your referees.
  • Are they willing to write the letter?
    Not everyone enjoys this task, and some do consider it as most arduous. Make sure you ask your referee politely whether he or she is willing to be your referee first.

  • Are they reachable?
    Some people are just impossible to track down. They are either too busy, have too many mobile phones, or are just simply the type not to answer the phone after the first 100 rings. As your referee, you really want someone who is easily contactable as a delay on their part might ruin a potential job offer for you.

  • Can they give you a full picture of your personality and work?
    Make sure you choose someone who can give a clear view of you as an individual, and of your performance at work. 
You can include the names and contact details of your referees on your CV or cover this item with something like, 'details of references upon request'. It is also essential to indicate on your application whether these referees can be contacted prior the interview. (You may not want your current employer to know that you are looking for another job, for example...!).

The standard layout for giving a reference is:

          Mr James Borg  (current employer)
          Director of Studies
          ABC School
          56, Tower Road 
          Mob.: 77556688
          Email:  [email protected]

Many employers would like to talk personally to your referees, so providing a mobile number and/or an email is useful.

Make sure that all the details provided - thereby the address, mobile number, email and any other information is correct and updated. Remember, the company might have moved their premises to another town or possibly changed the name of their company, or even closed down, the telephone number of the referee and email address could also have changed over time. 

If you have any questions, send us an email on [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you!

Nikita Pisani at Muovo


I know this is extremely boring and you are skipping to succeeding comment, however I just needed to throw you a big thanks you cleared up some things for me!

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