The personal reference list is often overlooked, but is, in truth, essential. Your resume may get you an interview, but your references will get you the job. Speaking with references is an easy way for employers to verify the information on your resume and to get an idea of who you are.
Choosing job references require careful consideration. A reference should be someone you’ve known at least a year—through preferably three or more years. You should provide at least four or five and include former or current supervisors and managers, colleagues, clients, professors, and colleagues from work-related associations and volunteer positions.
Even if you don’t include a former employer as a reference, they may be contacted and interviewed, so you might as well include one. That way you’ll know who will be contacted and what they’re likely to say about you.
A good reference candidate should be someone who can confirm the information on your resume and who can offer positive feedback regarding your education, skills, or experience.