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Asked by Alex on August 24, 2017

What's an appropriate way to ask someone if you can use them as a reference on your resume?

Answered by James, Hiring Expert at Broadridge, on August 25, 2017

I recommend prior to adding someone as a reference, to always check with them. I would check with past supervisors, professors that you worked with closely or mentors from an internship. Employers will typically require professional references versus personal references. A nice way to check with them is to send an email asking if they would be willing to be a reference.If there is a particular role that you are interviewing for, provide the reference with some details on the role so that they can align your past experience with the role you are currently interviewing for.

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Answered by Brittany, Hiring Expert at ManpowerGroup, on August 29, 2017

I agree with the previous comment -- be sure to ask beforehand, giving some background on the position and company that you're applying to. Once given their permission, be sure verify their preferred contact information. 

Best of luck!

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Answered by Dan, Hiring Expert at Mutual of Omaha, on March 24, 2018

100% agree with my fellow Hiring Experts, check in with your potential references prior to putting their name and contact information out there. No sure where to begin, here are a few suggestions. First, I would advise someone to make a list of anyone you might as for a recommendation (manager, key co-workers, etc.). Then narrow down that list to about 3 or 4 references for any given job and choose wisely, choose people who can articulate and speak well of your qualifications. Once you have your list, reach out to them and ask them if they’re willing to serve as a reference. I would recommend a phone call versus an email as it makes it more personal. At this time, it be best to explain to them what type of position you’re applying for and possible skills you would like to showcase. Now if any possible reference shows any hesitation, accept it politely, thank them and move on to next person. Once you have your supporters all ready, prepare your reference list document that should include – Reference Name, Title, Organization, Division or Department, Phone Number and Email. And perhaps a sentence stating your relationship. Also, make sure you thank each reference after agreeing to help you. This showcases that you appreciate their time and value your relationship.

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