Career References

Career references are people who are willing to vouch for your qualifications and skills. These people should be able to attest to your characteristics and work style, and be willing to write a letter of recommendation. A job seeker needs at least three references. It is a good idea to develop a list since different colleagues may have witnessed different aspects of your work. Depending on the job, you may want to use different references.

If you have little work experience, then your best references will be the director, professor, or teacher at your massage therapy school training program. Also, community people can provide references as well, such as pastors, directors, or supervisors of volunteer programs you have worked for. Only use people that have given you permission to use them as a reference. Supervisors expect to be used as references, but it is a good idea to ask. In some cases, supervisors may be restricted by legalities on giving a reference. Job interviewers understand this issue, so use a colleague and explain the issue. References from colleagues need to be people that you had a good relationship with and you had regular communication with. Regular communication can be the occasional phone call or email.

Never use relatives as references. Job interviewers will not trust this type of reference. Always keep the original recommendation letters and send copies to job interviewers or human resources. Be aware that a colleague from a job several years ago that you have not heard from or contacted may not be the best reference. Keep references as current as possible.

Employers generally check your previous employers and references. Previous employers tend to confirm the dates of your employment, but references can be asked to respond to a series of questions about attitude, work history, or habits. Make sure the references you use give honest, objective opinions about you and your work.