If an employer is considering hiring you, he or she may ask you to supply a list of references. A reference is a person who, if asked, is willing to discuss your skills, abilities, job performance, and general character. Potential employers contact these references and ask questions about your skills, duties, dependability, or productivity.
In most of the United States, your previous managers and the human resources department can only confirm dates of employment, not talk about your performance, so your references should not include previous supervisors.
To improve your chances of getting a job, choose references who:
- are educated
- are well-spoken
- are thoroughly familiar with your skills and abilities
- have a mutually respectful relationship with you
- will speak positively about your work performance or work ethic
Remember, potential employers want to hear more than "She's very nice".