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Job references are a must-have

Finding a good job can be a frustrating task. You need to think of everything: the right cover letter, the appropriate list of work experience on your CV and a good online profile. But there's one more vital thing to consider: solid job references. With these ingredients, your application cannot go wrong!

Strong references can help

In these competitive times when vacancies are out-numbered by job seekers, it is important that you differentiate yourself from the competition.

That means that you need to do a bit of PR on your skills and experience. Show that you have talents that a future boss needs. For this, references with your application have become indispensable.

What are good references?

The best references come from previous employers. They know how valuable you are as an employee. Moreover, they know your strengths at work and your best skills. If you are invited to interview, ask a former employer if they will be one of your job references.

But what if you only had a part time job alongside your studies? A reference from the local pub owner may not be what you want. Consider a reference from your supervisor, a career counsellor or academic advisor. Consider what you as an employer would find valuable and make it work.

Where do you include references?

On your CV, you can easily add references to your previous work experience. Keep it confined to the contact information of your reference. For online applications, it is also possible to insert references directly, or link to recommendations on LinkedIn.

Boost your employability

Consider what your future employer is looking for and determine your strategy accordingly. Certain job references may be more impressive and more relevant for certain job applications. Make sure that you ask the right referees to promote your knowledge and skills for each individual role you apply for.

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