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How to select your apprenticeship references

If you don’t have a lot of industry experience or background to rely on, the people that you select as your references could make a real difference to your chance of gaining an apprenticeship.

However, you can’t just put anyone into your CV as a reference. These individuals must be able to relay your ability either in the employment or academic environment and be willing to put their name against your claim for the role.

Who are the best people to have as a reference?

Avoiding family members of friends who could have an unconscious bias towards you, the ideal people to be referees include former employers, mentors, bosses, teachers, lecturers or private tutors.

It is important that the people that you select have a good professional working relationship with you and are happy to help in getting you a job. Of course, it’s vital you ask these individuals before you add them to your CV to avoid a surprise call from a potential employer.

How to choose the top references?

As you need the reference to be able to provide a possible employer with a glowing account of how you can help their business, choosing the right people is critical.

Think about what industry the job is in and how that reference can add insight into your skills and experience. As such, it might be good to compile a list of references and submit the ones that match the job and what skills they are endorsing.

Should you tell the referee what to say?

It can be tempting to coach a referee into embellishing the truth about you to ensure that you have a good chance of getting the job. However, many referees won’t be comfortable with this approach and could refuse to act on your behalf.

According to Michael Page International, it is best to brief your referees so they understand what the role is, who might ring them and why you want the role. This gives them time to think about how you would perform in the job and be ready to give this detail to the employer.

What information could you include?

Referees are a vital part of the application process which means if employers can’t get in touch with your contacts, it could be an issue. Monash University suggests that multiple contact details should be provided for each referee. This includes their full name, title, business information, phone number and email address.

The more contact details that you can provide, the better.

For those still looking for the right apprenticeship or traineeship, Apprenticeship Central’s search function allows you to identify potential employers in a range of industries who are looking for talent. From here, you can upload your CV and reference list to any job listed.

To learn more about improving your employment chances, contact our team today.

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