Referees are people who know you well as a result of your association in the workplace, or through other activities in which you've been actively involved. Employers contact referees as part of the recruitment process to gather additional information or to investigate any concerns they may have. It is essential that you choose referees who can answer questions, talk confidently about your conduct, and provide supportive examples of your work or involvement to demonstrate your skills as relevant to the job. Reference checks are an important part of the selection process. Your referees can be the difference between a job offer and a near miss.

In order to help your referees give you the best recommendation possible:

  • Ensure that you have previously asked for the consent of the people who you nominate as referees
  • Discuss with them the types of jobs you are applying for and provide them with a copy of your resumé
  • When you find out you have an interview, forward details of the job (including a position description) to your referees and brief them on what the employer is looking for, and may therefore question them about.

It is common for two or three referees to be requested by an employer.

You should list names, contact details (phone and email) and the relationship of your referee to you at the end of your resumé.

Character or personal referees are not often requested.

Written references are not often requested and should not be attached to your application.