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10 Tips For Effectively Using Professional References

Most any position for which you apply will require that you provide professional references. Sometimes, deciding whom to ask and how to ask can be tricky waters to navigate, especially if your current employer is unaware you are job searching. I’ve put together a few tips below on how to resolve common situations and help make the selection and request process for references easier on you.


When it comes to selecting references and asking people to be your professional reference, you might think it is in awkward question. Be assured it is not—people are often flattered to be asked to be used as a reference. It means you think highly of them and their opinion, and that they have had an impact on your life.

So get out your contacts list, comb through your LinkedIn, and start making lists of people who would be good references for different jobs. And if you haven’t been in touch with some of them recently, reach out, say hi, and keep in touch. You never know when they might be able to help you in the future.

Looking for more guidance on employment references?

Check out The Complete Guide to Employment References. It includes guidance on how to find out if you have a negative reference and how to fix it, how to know whether someone will be a good reference or not, and how to use LinkedIn as a digital reference.

You might also want to read Why Professional References Are Important and How to Ask for Them.

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Also, let’s connect and continue the conversation on Linkedin. You can send me an invite here.

Are you tired of your resume being rejected by applicant tracking systems? I know how frustrating it is to submit your resume and receive no response. I hate seeing qualified people never break through the screening process. It shouldn’t be that way. That’s why I created this guide and I encourage you to download the FREE PDF so you can start seeing better resume response rates!

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About the author

Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast

Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.

What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.

You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!

I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!

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