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It is always a relief for any job seeker when their CV bags them their much needed interview. It is an even a greater feeling when the candidate leaves the room with positive nods and beaming smiles from the interviewers.

There is no doubt in your mind that this job is yours. However, one more thing is left, for you to finally get that offer letter; the interviewer carrying out reference checks.

This is the easiest section of your CV to write. What you need to include is the name of the referee, the job position, place of work and contact details.

For example, write

1. John Kinuthia,

    Senior Editor,

    Jamii Bora Newspaper


Ensure they are valid because once the employer cannot reach them, that is how you lose your job opportunity.

See? Easy right? But, have you ever given much thought to the people you have included as referees in the CV? Has it ever occurred to you that your referees could either make or break your career success?

Well, if not, it is about time you did. It is important to make sure that your list of references is the right fit.

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Professional referees or people you have directly worked with are the best individuals to include in this section. These are some of the questions you should consider when choosing your referees.

How closely did you work with this person? How will they explain your skills to the recruitment manager?

Below is a list of people you could consider including in the reference section of your CV;

1. Former Employer

A previous employer preferably your boss is the best choice of a referee in a CV who can provide details on your work ethic. The fact that they have overseen your day to day activities at your work place means that they know the responsibilities you undertook.

2. You supervisor

Your direct supervisor could also be a great option of a referee in your resume. This person could have been your internship supervisor, project supervisor or team leader.

He or she may know who you were as an employee, your capabilities and potential. They also know how fast you delivered, whether you achieved your KPIs and how you related with other team members.

3. Colleague

Someone with whom you worked with in the same team in a previous job is a great fit for a reference in a CV. This person does not have to be your boss or your supervisor but someone who knows you professionally and has worked with you.

Can this person vouch for you on you professionally? If yes, include them.

4. Lecturer

If you are a recent graduate, your lecturer or project supervisor is also a great person you can have as a referee in your CV. They can point out the skills you picked up during your course work and what kind of student you were.

What to remember

  • The ideal number of persons to include in this section is three.
  • Inform them to expect a call from your potential employer to ensure they do not miss it.
  • It is also important to ask these individuals for permission to have them as your referees lest they are called and asked about you but cannot seem to remember you. It would be very embarrassing if that happened.
  • Ensure your referee has positive things to say about you. Do not include the ones you got off on a wrong foot with because they can cost you the job.Choose them wisely
  • Think about your relationship with this person. Is it religious or social? If so, scrap it off. Since you are writing a professional CV, only include people who can talk about your professional life.
  • Do not include your current employer because you will be at a risk of loosing your job and still not get the new one.
  • Maintain a rapport with them. Build a professional relationship so that they can always be ready to help.

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