Personal References – Who To Use?

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Traditionally, personal or character references may have been requested on job applications, along with the request of professional references.

Nowadays, the request is commonly reserved for applicants who are starting out in their careers and may not have any professional experience, or possibly asked of candidates returning back to work after taking some extended time off.

Whatever the case maybe, if an employer has asked you to provide a couple of personal references, you may want to consider these simple tips:

1. Ideally, your personal reference should be someone you know well, and someone who is willing to acknowledge and promote your skill sets and qualities in a positive light
2. Authority figures from academic, sports or volunteer programmes are usually great examples of personal references
3. Try not to use a relative or significant other – employees usually prohibit using family members as references, but even if they don’t, the feedback maybe perceived as bias coming from a family relation
4. Always ask the reference if they will be your reference first – even if you have a positive relationship or connection, it is common courtesy to ask first, and also give them a heads up when you are actively applying for jobs, so that they can be available to take phone calls if need be
5. Give your references information on the jobs you are applying for – regardless if personal or professional, let your references know what kinds of jobs you are applying for and what’s involved in the roles so that they can be better prepared to discuss any relevant traits you may have to the potential employers

Personal references aren’t usually regarded as much as professional references, however, it is still important to choose them wisely, the same way you would a professional reference. Their personal input to your employer could make the difference in securing that job.

Need assistance with finding your next gig? Visit our sister company Right Recruit at – we’re a recruitment company that likes ‘Thinking outside the recruitment box’.

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