References are an often-overlooked part of the job-seeking process.
They shouldn’t be.
Don’t assume references are just something to throw at the bottom of a resume. Choose your references carefully. Put thought into who you choose and make sure the people you choose know you are listing them as references. You don’t want them to be surprised by a phone call or inquiry from a potential employer.
Consider the people with whom you’ve worked well with and trust.
Make sure all contact information is correct and up-to-date.
If you know your references will be contacted about a specific job, make sure they have some idea about the position you are applying for so that they can speak in specifics rather than just general terms. This will allow them to be in a better position to describe your strengths as it pertains to the position.
References give potential employers a glimpse into who you are as an employee and as a person. This is why it is so important to choose your references wisely, even if they are never called.
Many employers will be very thorough during the hiring process. This is why detailed background checks remain so important. References should be treated the same way. Treat your references the way you do with the rest of your resume. Make sure everything is detailed and corrected.