When it comes to references, we want to find the people that say the best things about us, right? While it is great for an employer to hear positive responses from your friends, the quality content comes from those who have worked with you professionally.

Here are a few of the best types of people to use as a reference:

  • Co-Workers- Who knows your work ethic better than the people that work beside you every day? When choosing a co-worker as a reference, remember to pick people that can speak to your professional abilities; a friend in a different department that knows nothing about your daily tasks isn’t a good pick as a reference. Co-workers and bosses should be your very first picks when it comes to choosing who you put down as references.
  • Association Members-Do you belong to a professional association like a Women’s Professionals or Young Professionals group? The members you learn alongside know where you want to head in your professional career. These individuals are people that you spend a great deal of time with discussing business and balance. They know a lot about you, especially professionally, and can be exemplary references.
  • Volunteer Coordinators- If you have had the opportunity to volunteer for an organization, that is wonderful! The person in charge of coordinating the volunteers is an excellent reference because they have seen the type of work ethic you have.

It is not uncommon for employers to ask for a personal reference as well. In this case, you can choose a friend but make sure they are a highly regarded professional in their own field and can speak to your character.

Picking reputable references can give the employer a great look into what skills you can bring to their company. This is only one step of the interview process, but it can be a big one when it comes to an employer hearing from your peers for the first time. Stick with the people that know you best professionally, and you will likely receive glowing referrals!