Choosing the right referees 101



Mid-weight Design UI-Specialist Recruitment Canberra, Temp Digital Communications Recruitment Australia, Junior-to-Mid Creative Production Recruitment Melbourne


Regardless of whether you’re applying for your first job or your twentieth, you’ll always need to supply your potential new employer with references they can contact.

Whilst references always tend to be tucked away at the end of someone’s resume they’re rarely overlooked by recruiters or hiring managers, and that’s why you need to pick the right people.

Are you in the process of applying for a job or rewriting your resume? Then have a read of our handy hints for ways to pinpoint the perfect referee who’ll help you land that dream job.

1. Pick a person that gets what you do
Your referee needs to be able to discuss your suitability for a role; you should ask someone you worked closely with, in the same area of the business as or in a similar role to. Whoever you choose must have a clear understanding of the work you did.

FYI: If you didn’t have a manager, why not choose a colleague you collaborated successfully with on a project?

2. Select someone who rates you highly
Choose a person you had a positive working relationship with and will be willing to give you a glowing report. For instance, if you had a difficult time with your team leader but a brilliant bond with your direct manager, you know who to list as a referee.

3. Ensure you have a range of options
References aren’t only limited to past employers, academic and social referees work too, which is perfect if you’re fairly new to the job market. You want your references to give your new employer a fully rounded idea of who you are as a person!

4. Tailor them to the job you’re applying for
If you’re applying for your first graphic design job, you don’t want to pick a referee from a totally unrelated field. You’d be better off listing contact details from a design studio internship than from your last job as an Admin Assistant.

5. Go for someone who comes across well
Often a written reference won’t be enough and future employers will want to speak to your referee over the phone. Choose someone who’s personable and will be able to share important information about you clearly and concisely.

6. Check they’re happy to be a referee
Ahead of listing your references on your resume you need to ensure they’re OK with being contacted. You don’t want them to be caught off guard when someone gets in touch and not be ready to sell you and your skills as best they can.

7. Present their details properly
Once your referees have agreed to lend a hand, make sure you’ve listed their contact details neatly. Be sure to include their full name, job title and the name of the company where you worked together, their phone number and email address.

Remember, these top tips are all things to consider before you’re given the job, but when you do receive the offer don’t forget to show your referees your appreciation for their help!

Have you got any advice to give about picking the perfect reference? We’d love to hear it, so head to Twitter to share your words of wisdom with us.

If you’re a creative or digital whizz looking for a new and exciting job opportunity, we’re the recruiters for you! Register your details online today and we’ll be in touch shortly.