Although parents should always speak directly to some of your job references, written references from are essential from people you may not necessarily be able to track down years later. Written references are important since many of your references may not remember key information included at the time they write the reference letter. A list of names and phone numbers of former employers is fine if you do not have three written references. But start procuring written references from current employers now.
Get Permission from References:
Be sure to contact your references to let them know they will be receiving phone calls to verify your work history. Do not list someone as a reference unless you have their permission. You need to be sure that you are asking the appropriate people to write a letter of reference or to give you a verbal reference. You also need to know what the reference giver is going to say about you. To do that, review the type of positions you are applying for with the reference giver, so they can tailor their reference to fit your circumstances.
Who to Ask for a Reference:
Former bosses and parents you have babysat for make good references. So do college professors.
Make a List:
Create a listing of your references. The list of references should not be included in your resume. Rather, create a separate reference list. Have it ready to give to employers when you interview. Include three or four references, along with their job title, employer, and contact information. If the employer asks you to email your references, paste the list into the body of any email letter, rather than sending an attachment.
Request a Reference Letter:
I have heard nannies should ask for written references from their employers at each job at performance evaluation time (annually or bi-annually). At the very least, you should ask for a written letter of reference every time you change employment. Make a point of asking for a reference letter from the parent. They won’t write the letter unless you ask them to do it.
Keep Your References Up-to-Date:
Let your references know where your job search stands. Tell them who might be calling for a reference. When you get a new job, don’t forget to send a thank you note to those who provided you with a reference.
Maintain your Network:
Maintaining your reference network with periodic phone calls or notes to get and give updates is important. Have an active network in place because you never know when you might need it.’
Requesting Permission to Call Your References:
A nanny agency or prospective employer should ask your permission before contacting your references. This is especially important if you are employed – you don’t want to surprise your current employer with a phone call checking your references. It’s perfectly acceptable to say that you are not comfortable with your current employer being contacted at the present time. However, do have a list of alternative references available.