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Everything You Ought To Know About Personal References

Posted on March 3rd, 2021



It is common for us to hear employers asking us to give references (personal & professional) at one point or the other during the appointment process. Let us talk about personal references, how they can help job seekers and why employers ask them. Besides, let us also know how it can impact your employment prospects.

What Is A Personal Reference?

Also, at times called the character reference, a personal reference is a brief evaluation of a person. It is an account of narration given by someone who knows about you outside your work. Remember, when a personal reference is requested, you should not mention your professional companions or work colleagues.

A professional reference is entirely different from a personal reference. While the former is provided by your past or present employer and work peers, the latter is given by your friends and other personally known people such as your teachers, association groups or neighbors.

Personal references aim to know your behavior, ethics, personality and so on. And so it has got nothing to do with your studies, degrees, skills and competencies which usually get covered in professional references.

When Personal References Are Needed?

Generally, employers ask these references during or after the first set of interviews. They usually ask for it to verify the info they obtained all through the meeting.

It is a good idea to intimate the person you name in personal references as soon as possible. Doing so will allow the other person to get prepared when the prospective employer calls him/her.

Why Personal References Are Needed?

Many businesses these days, while recruiting new employees, want to know about personality traits apart from skillsets and experience.

Knowing about personal thoughts, behavior, attitude and gelling capacity will provide companies information about the overall impact and influence one will bring on the organization. The firm will get to know if the person will fit well with the present team and be a good team player or not. All such qualities are not found out by just using professional references. Professional references focus majorly on technical skills and not on behaviour and personal qualities. A personal referral gives an insight into the character of a person and his cultural attitude.

Finding a person with the correct cultural fit is as essential for employers as finding a professional fit. Being a culture-fit is becoming a more and more important deciding element in the present-day recruitment processes. Organizations these days are willing to hire a person with a good personality over someone with higher experience. Noted organizations believe that it is easier to develop professional skills with passing time but is difficult to train attitude and thought process.

With this explanation, one can easily understand why having a strong personal reference is a must. Having a good personal reference is nothing but easing your job chances, especially when the competition is tough.

Who Can Provide Personal References?

Generally, neighbors, teachers, club/group leaders or friends give personal testimonials. The ones you refer must know you perfectly and capable enough of providing instances that support your statements regarding you and your character. Whilst family and friends are generally agreeable, it is always best to not opt for someone who is your immediate family member. The opinion from them can be considered prejudiced.

What Must a Personal Reference Consist Of?

A personal reference must cover up the connection between the writer and the subject, apart from how long each other know. It must even consist of examples of your personality, character, and work ethic. The references must focus on 2 or 3 of your good qualities, giving clear examples to support them. Finally, it must consist of the writer’s contact particulars, as the company may want to get in touch for additional details either by email or phone.

Bonus Advice:

An exceptional character reference can stir up from the job description of the position that you apply for. If you give this information to your referee, the reference letter will have information that has constructive light on you. It will also showcase why you are competent enough in accomplishing the responsibilities and roles defined in the job description. Here, attention to detail can make a huge difference.

Tags: Career advice, personal references, uses of personal reference, difference between personal reference and professional reference, professional reference VS personal reference