When a construction employer asks me to provide them my references, what should I do?

Asked by
Peter Silas

References are almost always required and vetted as a contingency to any construction job offer. Construction Job Seekers should always have a current list of 3 to 6 professional references they can provide an employer when interviewing for a job opportunity. Make sure your references are current and notify your reference prior to submitting their contact information to insure its accuracy and to obtain full cooperation of your reference.

However rather than submit a list of references for an employer to contact, there may be a better approach. As construction recruiters, we have found that it best for job seekers to get their professional references to provide a written reference. This benefits the employer since they have a reference document for their files, and may not need to call the reference. Written references are also good for the reference since it may save them time from having to field multiple calls from multiple employers on your behalf. If an employer still decides to call your reference, the call will likely be shorter and more focused and less demanding on the reference. We also like the idea of a written reference for job seekers since after several calls by potential employers your references will likely become less enthusiastic about the calls which may negatively reflect in their conversation with the potential employer.

Your references can make or break a decision to hire you, so make every attempt to get a positive and cooperative reference. Calling your references prior to releasing their contact information is necessary to gain their full cooperation, and you can use that call to help remind them of your responsibilities, strengths and accomplishments.