References are people you ask to confidently speak about your knowledge, skills, abilities, personality type, attributes, and qualifications when you are applying for a specific job. Essentially, references are the people who can support your claims about being a good candidate for said job. You will want to ensure that the people you ask to be your references know you well and will speak about you in a positive manner. They ought to know your talents, work ethic, innate abilities, and how and how fast you learn and develop.

There are a few different types of references: professional, character or personal, and educational. Professional references may include your employer, your co-workers, or business associates. Professional references must be able to speak to your work ethic, talent, ability to work with others, punctuality, and achievements. Character or personal references may include people with a good image who have known you for many years. Character references must be able to speak about your integrity, personality, and personal goals and achievements. Educational references may include your professors, tutors, or advisors. Educational references can speak about your ability to learn, participate in group settings, present to a group, critically think, and your intelligence. It is a good idea to have a few people from each of these areas to support you in being the most attractive candidate for the job. We usually recommend having three professional references, two character references, and one educational reference ideally.