As you begin to develop your list of potential references you should consider the responsibilities of the job that you are applying for and think about the people you know that are in a position to provide information that will be helpful to you in your quest for the job. There is no point in asking someone to be a reference if they do not have experience and knowledge of you in that capacity. Also be sure that the people that are on your list would be comfortable serving as a reference for you.

Most of the people you will ask will be flattered or at least willing to provide a reference but it is important that you ask and do not just put their name of the reference list. Some people you approach may decline for a variety of reasons, but remember that you really want people who are willing to take the time and effort to help you. When you approach these individuals to serve as a reference for you be clear about the position you are applying for and the skills that are required. Explain why you think you would be good in this position and how it fits with your skills and abilities. This will help the reference decide whether or not they want to continue. Collect all the details of the job, what their task will or might be (writing a letter when requested or to agree to a telephone interview). Give your reference a copy of your resume and keep them informed about any changes.

Don’t forget to thank your references for agreeing to assist you. They will also want to know if you were successful. Remember they have contributed to your success.