Career Information Hotline Toll Free 1-800-661-3753 Edmonton 780-422-4266

Who can be my reference and how do I ask them?

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Answer

If you’ve been in the workforce for a while, think of recent and former employers, supervisors, managers, co-workers and clients who have positive things to say about your character, skills, and experience.  

If you’re just starting out, think of teachers, coaches, group leaders, neighbours, community elders or volunteers, religious or community leaders.

How do you ask?

  • Ask for a reference in person or by phone or email.
  • Ask questions like, “Do you feel you know me and my work well enough to be comfortable giving me a reference?” or “Do you feel comfortable giving me a good reference?” If your contacts say “yes,” let them know about the position you are applying for and what skills will be needed.
  • Ask whether your contacts would prefer to provide their references to potential employers by phone or email.