What is a Professional Reference – this type of reference is asked for when you apply for a job at a new company or for in some cases when you apply for a position after just completing a college diploma and are a fresher without any work experience.In this case you would need to take a professional reference from a former teacher or professor. It is always beneficial to make a rough list of references that you can think of before narrowing it down. This is useful because there maybe contacts that might turn you down or even worse negatively influence your job position by providing a bad reference.
It is useful to note that a professional reference is different from a personal reference, just the same way a character recommendation letter and professional recommendation letter tell two different stories.
This professional reference will have to be a former work mate,office colleague or at best your former manager.It is wise to have your former manager as a professional reference, at the very top of the list of references because he/she is an authoritative figure and will provide a non biased account of how you fared in your previous job.
Your second choice for a Professional Reference should be a close friend from work,preferably from your former company.He/she should know your strong points,qualities,work experience and abilities.They should be able to talk about you with confidence and voice your merits easily.
What should your Professional Reference talk about ?
This may sound unethical, but you need to coach your Professional Reference a little to say the right things and refrain from saying something that might hurt your chances in any way.You can only do this with your second reference that is your friend or office mate.
Your anchor reference on top of the list being your former manager will be truthful in all the questions posed to him.You can still however ask him/her to put in a good word for you,and if you and him have had a cordial relationship in the past,he will definitely agree.
Professional Reference List Format
After you have decided on at least three professional references that can verify some claims on your resume and answer questions related to your work experience, skills and knowledge related to your job, you need to compile the names and contact information in a sequence as shown below.It is extremely important to mention the designation and professional degrees if any.This adds value and credibility to the reference.