When applying for a new job there are many things to consider. The first is, of course, your resume. Next, there is the job interview. Both of these things people usually consider carefully when applying for a job, but one important detail of the job application is often forgotten, ignored, or considered unimportant - the references.
Whether you are applying to drive a taxi cab or to work as a real estate agent, you will almost certainly be asked to provide references to support your application. You initial impulse may be to list you most recent employers and forget about, sometimes this is OK, but you should carefully consider whether your most recent employers are your best references.
The first thing you should when choosing references is to look at the reference requirements for the position you are applying for. For some companies the requirements may indicate that you have to provide only employment supervisors as references, while some may allow you to use volunteer supervisors as references, or even your co-workers. The type of position you are applying for will likely dictate the type of reference that is acceptable, for example, if you are applying to work at Sunrise Kids Dental as a dental hygienist, you will likely be asked to provide employment supervisor references, while a position as an ECE may allow volunteer or co-worker references.
Once you have determined the type of references that are appropriate to the position you are applying for you should make a list of possible reference candidates. You will want to include anyone who you think will provide you with a good reference. Once you have your list you will want to narrow it down. Certain references are going to carry more weight than others. If you worked briefly as a metal worker in high school a reference from that job will hold little weight many years later unless the position is highly relevant to the one you are currently applying to. For example, if you volunteered many years ago organizing elaborate fundraisers and you are currently applying for an event management position then a glowing reference from your former supervisor could be beneficial.
If you are applying to a position that allows co-worker references be sure to carefully consider who you ask to be a reference for you. The company you are applying to is not interested to hear what a good pal you are and how well you party. The company you are applying to will want to hear about your work habits and you ability to work as a part of a team. Be sure to talk to any references you choose so they are prepared.
Read The Keys To Choosing The Best Job References for more.