Some employers may request that you list several references as part of your job application. References are people who can testify to your work ethic and responsibility and who will give your potential employer the confidence that you are a good candidate for the position.
Most employers will ask for references at some point in the application process. Some will not call all of your references, while others will contact every single one. In other situations, an employer may want to see that you can list the names of people who will vouch for your character. Since you do not know who will be contacted, approach the situation by choosing references that you know will give you a good review, if called.
When considering who to use as a character reference, think about what people you have worked or spent time with who would speak about you in a positive manner. You might consider former employers, co-workers, classmates or committee associates. Those who are already working in nursing careers can speak to your skills as a potential nurse. Other possible references could be people with whom you have volunteered, or those you have helped in the past. Consider people who have seen you work, hold a responsibility or handle certain situations so they can say that you know how to do a good job.
A list of at least three references is most likely enough for a job application or interview. Find out each person’s title and contact information in case you are asked to present this information during an interview. Always ask potential references if they will speak for you before listing their information. Although someone may be willing under normal circumstances, assuming without asking first, that they will act on your behalf is impolite; actually, it just might even result in a reference saying the opposite of what you would want him to say about you.
Some job applications require a list of references as part of the process. Compile your contact information at the time you sit down to complete the questionnaire. In some situations, you may only be asked to give a copy of your resume. Avoid listing references as part of your resume; rather, list names and pertinent information on a separate sheet of paper and present this list to an employer only if requested.
Avoid asking family members to serve as references; this gives the appearance that you are unable to find colleagues to speak on your behalf, and most employers already know that your mother will say nice things about you. If you are unsure what a potential reference might say, or you are worried about how a particular person may respond to questions, choose someone else, if possible. If you think about it, you can probably come up with many people from whom you can seek a reference and feel confident of their responses.
Remember to thank your references for being willing to speak for you. When you ask, most people are willing to act as references, as they probably want to see you get the job for which you are hoping. Although they may have acted as a reference for you no matter what, saying thank you is being considerate. With any luck, you may get the job you want and you will not need their services again anytime soon.