Denver Staffing Agency – Reference Tips for Recent College Graduates – Part 2

  • Posted by: J. Kent Gervasini |
  • 1/23/12 |
  • 9:37 PM
Denver Staffing Agency – Reference Tips for Recent College Graduates – Part 2

If you recall in Resume Reference Tips for Recent College Graduates – Part 1, you must be thoughtful and strategic about your references. Denver Human Resources Managers and Denver recruiters want to be able to assess your abilities, even if you have little or no work history.

Therefore, it is your job to be prepared and organized, and to put together a list of references that count and will make a difference to your candidacy when your references are checked.  Here is the process:  

  • Decide which reference resource will best support your candidacy for that first entry level job
  • Speak with your references before you include them in your resume or application, and ask if they feel comfortable speaking to potential employers about your skills and background
  • Ask for their permission and get their approval (if you speak to them personally watch their body language; if over the phone, listen carefully to their response), and finally, if permission is granted:
  • Confirm your references' complete and accurate contact information, to include name, title, company, school, address, phone number, and email
  • Thank the individual for their willingness to be a reference for you
  • Tell your new reference that you will e-mail them your completed resume (the one that you will present to Denver employers), and in that e-mail, thank them again for their help

Extra Tip 1: The most critical factor in choosing your resume references is what their impression is of you, not their relationship to you.

Business Reference Protocol for the Recent College Grad
These suggestions are business protocol and common courtesy for anyone requesting a reference.  Please remember to nurture your references as they are part of your “Career Path Network”.
  • Stay current with people on your reference list by keeping them abreast of your current job search activity
  • Call or email them from time to time to update them on your job search progress and notify them of any significant changes
  • Notify all your references and thank them for their support when you get that first Denver entry-level job

Reference Resources – Consider What Is Best for YOU
There are 3 main categories of references to consider.  But remember Extra Tip 1.  Choose those individuals that will best support your candidacy and be able to speak to many of your transferrable key skills, including the high demand for technical knowledge that is needed in the workplace of the 21st Century.  The 3 main categories of references are:

  1. Professional References
  2. Academic and College References (college professors, extracurricular advisors, administrators)
  3. Personal References
Professional References
The best references for recent college graduates are real world references. As a recent college graduate, a reference from your immediate Denver supervisor, manager or boss in a part-time job held in your field of study is the best reference, and the most relevant one.   If you worked part-time while in college or held an internship position, please contact your immediate supervisor as discussed in the opening paragraph for a reference. 

Extra Tip 2:  Denver Human Resource Managers know who can best verify your work, and generally it is not the President or CEO of the company. So please, think about Extra Tip 1 and make the right reference decision. Your immediate supervisor managed your workplace activities, trained you, noted that you were always on time, handled any personnel issues and can speak to your work performance, attitude, communication and leadership skills as well as your work ethic.   

Extra Tip 3:  If one of your immediate supervisors or managers is in a like field or industry to the job you are seeking, list them at the top, as they will become a credible reference for you.

Academic/College References (College Professors, Extracurricular Advisors & Administrators)
References from this source must be able to clearly respond to the reference call and should remember you well.  For example, choose professors as references who have seen you in a small classroom environment, who know you and are familiar with your academic work.  This person should be someone with whom you have built a connection or rapport.  Begin to identify college professors or other professionals, such as extracurricular advisors, who remember you and can attest to your skills, thoroughness and critical thinking or thoughtful questioning in class.  These individuals may be valued references for those with none or very little work history.

Extra Tip 4:  DO NOT use your college professors, extracurricular advisors or administrators as a reference if you did not have a reasonable connection with them.

Personal References 
In very specific circumstances such as applications for fellowships or scholarships, for example, exceptions may occur should they want proof of your character.  So, here is a teachable moment.  Smart employers understand that personal references are biased, and if they are your best friends or relatives for example, they are not credible references.  However, if you must go that route, college coaches, academic advisors, and coworkers in meaningful, respected positions who have become your friends, have more credibility with hiring authorities.

Extra Tip 5:  DO NOT include personal references on a professional business resume; that is the general rule

Recent College Graduates

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Resume Reference Tips for Recent College Graduates - Part 1


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