Last Updated: February 5, 2019, 9:03 pm

Conversation, consent necessary for references


Graphic by Valerie De La O.

Finding the ideal reference for a recommendation is not always a straightforward situation.

While actively searching for employment, businesses may ask you for a list of references, or people that can verify your work ethic, skills and experience. It helps to have references available who speak highly of you, can authenticate your strengths and make sure any qualifications are correct. References can be a hassle, but if done correctly, it can help you land your dream job.

Be picky with whom you chose to ask to be a reference, and there are acceptable ways to ask someone. When asking someone to be a reference, be sure to phrase your request thoughtfully.

According to Five References That Should Be On Your List To Land The Job, the hiring process can unravel fast, so before applying for a job it can be useful to write out a list of people that would be beneficial to ask for a recommendation. This can help prepare for the employment process.

A professor can be a compelling reference, especially if they taught a course in relation to your major. They will be able to talk about the skills you learned while taking their courses. A friend can be an excellent source, especially if they have worked with you before in a school or work setting. Either source can make for a unique reference.

“Asking a professor for a reference is great because as a student, the teacher can truly get to know you,” said Lane Angle, a junior digital film major from Kingman, Arizona. “They can see your talents in a classroom setting.”

When giving a reference, be sure to let them know you are using them as a source.

“It is important to notify the person you are using as a reference so they can provide good feedback about you.” said Anna Platero, a junior criminal justice major from Helper. “When asking for a reference, it’s best to be straightforward.” 

In order to remain ethical while obtaining a reference, be sure to include all information like the company you are applying to, and the position you are applying for.

“You need permission in terms of what you are referencing,” said Spencer Thatcher, a senior biochemistry major from Logan. “Ethics speaking, the number one thing is you do not want to inflate your credentials and efforts, so make sure that whenever you need a reference from any person to have it follow up with what you did under them and be honest and truthful to the extent of what you did.”

The best thing after getting a reference is to say thank you. The people chosen may be contacted by these companies, and showing gratitude benefits those involved.