How to Secure Job References as a Remote Worker

It can be difficult to secure job references even in a traditional work setting. However, if you are a remote worker, finding job references can present additional challenges.

Thus, it is important for you to utilize all of the avenues that are available to you throughout your professional and academic experiences.

For example, if you are wondering how you should go about obtaining job references, it may help to reach out to your past professors and bosses. Moreover, you can reach out to people you have volunteered with. If you are active in your community, you may include community leaders as your references as well. To learn more about what types of professionals can serve as valuable references and how they can benefit your resume as a remote worker, refer to the sections below.

Old Professors

Depending on how long ago you graduated from college, professors are great people to include as references. As a general rule, professors can serve as optimal references if you graduated between six and twelve months prior to submitting a job application. On the other hand, if they taught you more than a year ago, you should consider using someone else.

The good thing about using a professor as a reference is that he or she is familiar with your academic performance. Therefore, they are knowledgeable of your work ethic and can vouch for your qualities. If you are a recent graduate looking for work from home jobs, a professor can be a reference who highlights your strengths. However, you must make sure to ask them the right way. No matter the relationship you formed with the professor, there is a protocol that should be followed when asking an individual to serve as a reference for your potential employment opportunities. For example, keep in mind that your professor has other students to tend to. The right time to ask them to be a reference is during their regular office hours, particularly at the beginning of the week.

In addition, it can be of help to send professors a guideline of what you would like your employers to note you for. Chances are that your professors are already very familiar with you, but providing them with additional information about yourself can be valuable for them to support their recommendation.

Lastly, you can still request to use a professor as a reference if you did not develop a bond with him or her but did well during the course he or she taught. To do so, you may send that professor an email that states how you much you learned from him or her. Additionally, it may help for you to attach a few of the class assignments you completed, along with your resume and a cover letter. The more information you provide, the easier it will be for a professor to endorse you.

Volunteer Work

If you are in need of references to provide your potential employers with, you may consult the individuals who worked alongside you during volunteer work or community service. In general, volunteering your time for community service is a great way to gain experience while giving back to your community. Therefore, you may include any volunteer experience on your resume. Professionals who oversee these volunteer networks can be used as a reference, particularly if they are familiar with your work ethic. Moreover, getting a reference from a volunteer leader is a great way to display to a potential employer how valuable you are.

If you have the opportunity to set the director of a volunteer program as your preferred reference, you must definitely do so. Hiring managers will take this person more seriously, and there is a great chance that they will contact this professional to verify your participation in the program. On the other hand, you may list other volunteers as references if you cannot reach out to a program director.

In addition, if you received some sort of award while doing volunteer work through a charity or program, make sure to include that recognition on your resume.

Prior Professional Connections

If you have been out of work for a while, it is important to reach out and reconnect with prior managers and colleagues. This is the best way for them to stay up to date with your professional development and make them knowledgeable enough to refer you for a position. As a general rule, the most reliable references you can present a potential employer with are professionals who have worked with you in some form of business capacity. That is because these are the people who can attest to your work abilities. Additionally, they can speak to your work ethic and how you have handled different projects in the past.

If you leave your current or most recent boss off of your reference list, it may give your future employer reason to question your experience during that job. Therefore, if you decide to leave your current or most recent boss off of your list of references, be sure to provide your potential employer with a reasonable explanation. Furthermore, when listing references, make sure to include at least one person from your current or most recent job.

In case you do not get along with your boss, a co-worker will suffice as a reference. However, that is only if they know what your position entails and has worked alongside you. Asking a work friend who does not know much about your position is not ideal and can set you up for failure.

When you are looking for references, it is also acceptable for you to use clients who you have worked with in the past. Clients can attest to your work performance and tell potential employers how they can benefit from hiring you.

Asking Permission for References

While all of the aforementioned individuals can act as references for you to submit to a potential employer, you must reach out to your desired references before giving out their contact information.

When contacting these potential references, make sure to provide them with enough information about you. Doing so can strengthen their recommendation of you to hiring managers. If possible, you should also let them know when they can expect your potential employer to call them. This will give your references enough time to prepare for the call and allow them to think of suitable responses to the recruiter’s questions.

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