One of the challenges of looking for a job when you are currently employed is finding professional references. While your current employer may be filled with professionals that would say glowing things about your accomplishments, you may be reluctant to use them if you are trying to keep your current employer from finding out about your search. With that in mind, it is important to know where to look for quality professional references for your resume. Here are four things to consider:
Look to Coworkers and Managers Who Are No Longer with Your Current Employer
If you have people that you still talk to from your company who have moved onto other opportunities, they may be worth mentioning, especially if they were supervisors or managers. A word of warning before asking, though: ex-employees may still have contacts to the company, meaning that they could indirectly tell your employer about your request. A good rule of thumb with these types of connections is that you should only ask them if you need them, and only make requests of those you know you can trust.
Look to Previous Employers
Do you have an ex-employer on your resume where you gave your two-weeks notice, made sure all of your projects were properly taken care of, and was able to celebrate your day with high-fives and cake from your coworkers? If you have a situation like this, especially if you are still friendly with your ex-supervisors or managers, it’s a great place to get references.
Consider People That You Have Worked With In Freelance Situations
Have you done freelance work? If you have, you have worked with people who could make great references. Freelance work allows you to show off your work ethic and, many times, your leadership skills. Whether you worked under a tough deadline or working at your own pace, those you worked for or with make excellent references.
Consider Friends and Family Members
Friends and family members can make great references, if you present them in their professional capacity and if there is a compelling reason to have them on the list. For example, if you worked with a friend or family member, and they can give the hiring manager compelling information, there is no reason they shouldn’t be considered. While you shouldn’t fill a resume solely on friends or family members, there is no reason to shy away from them.