References are an important part of the hiring process. Reference checks help hiring managers better understand your skills, experience, and qualifications. They help hiring managers determine if you are a good fit for the job. Here are some things to consider when choosing references.

You do not need to list references on your resume or write “References available upon request.” It’s assumed that you will provide this information when asked. But you do need to think carefully about who you choose and give them the information they need to be a good reference.

Choose people who have worked closely with you.

Select people who can vouch for your work ethic, experience, and character. Ideally, you will want to ask previous supervisors, managers, or coworkers. If you have little to no work experience, teachers, coaches, or mentors can serve as references.  And of course, you’ll want to choose people who can speak positively about you and your work!

Prepare your references.

Don’t make references ask you for the information they need. Send them a copy of your resume and tell them about the job you are applying for, your accomplishments, and the skills you want them to focus on during the conversation. Give your references time to prepare.

Thank your references.

Whether it is a phone call, email, or in-person, thank them for their time. They will appreciate the gesture and may be willing to refer again in the future.

It is beneficial to your job search to have solid references that can comment on your skills and qualifications. Remember: the stronger your reference, the more likely you are to get the job you want.