Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Resume References: People Other Than Your Boss That Make You Look Good

At the bottom of my resume, the names and contact information of three important people are listed. I was talking to a friend about how important those three references are to me. All three of my references are professionals in my field of work and all three know me, and my work ethic, well. So when I read this article on, it gave me a new perspective. 

Most people think of their references as their current and/or former bosses. But the article says that if you stop there, you might be making a big mistake. 

"There are other people in your employment life who make excellent references," the article states, and then goes on to offer these suggestions. 

Competing Bosses

"Do you work hand in hand with other companies? Do they like you and think you do good work? Are they people your new employer knows and does business with?" the article asks. Well it advises that if you have a reputation around your industry, then showing that you're well known and well liked, even outside previous employers, can go a long way. It also shows that you have great connections across the board and that you work well with others, which, to some, is a big deal.

Team Players THEY Know

Having some connections within the organization you are applying can be a great in. If they hold some professional capacity, put their name as a reference. "Getting a good word from your boss is one thing, but getting a good word from someone they know from their own team can be doubly powerful," the article states. 


"Do you have a list of clients or vendors that you work with all the time? Better yet, do you have a list of clients, vendors or prospects that your new employer might covet?" the article asks. Showing that you have good relationships with those people might give your new employer all the reason they need to hire you. 

In short, "references" aren't only about previous employers and bosses. You should certainly have a previous boss on your reference list, but having a broader reference list can go a long way to helping you get hired. 
Klydi Heywood
Klydi Heywood

1 comment:

  1. References need not to be included in the resume. You can find references easily if you maintain the network.