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The NCRW Corner: How to Help Your Clients with References

September 06, 2022 3:00 AM | Administrative Manager (Administrator)

Tips from the NCRW Certification Commission

Editor’s Note: Our Certification Commission team is transitioning this column to a “tips” column. We’ll share an actionable item from them and feature articles when they have big news to share. If you have a question that you want answered by the graders, please email [email protected].

Is your client looking for support in creating a reference page? Here are some actionable tips on how to do this and advice on how to find quality references.

1.      Create a reference page with the same heading you used for the resume and cover letter.

2.      Include 3-5 business references with the contact information preferred by the reference. For example, they may not want to receive a phone call at work, so only include their cell number. 

3.      Make sure your clients know that they need references who know them well and can speak highly of their strengths. We suggest supervisors, colleagues, or coworkers. If they cannot find anyone from a previous company, here’s a list of potential contacts:

  • Executives from other areas of the company
  • Fellow members of a board, committee, or taskforce
  • People who worked for your client
  • Project team members
  • Strategic partners
  • Vendors
  • Mentors
  • Community leaders

4.  There must be a direct correlation between the references and the resume. If your client lacks business references, have them select credible friends. Try to choose people who are accustomed to serving as references.

5. After your client has asked contacts if they will serve as a reference, be sure they share a copy of the resume. Your client wants the reference to be clear on their job duties and accomplishments to avoid miscommunication when someone from HR calls. 

6. On the reference page, it’s crucial to include an explanation of how the reference knows your client. Names without a link to the resume are meaningless. The HR representative usually checks references in the order they appear on the resume, so put the best reference first.

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