Let our industry specialists listen to your aspirations and present your story to the most esteemed organisations in the Africa, as we collaborate to write the next chapter of your successful career.

See all jobs

Together, we’ll map out career-defining, life-changing pathways to achieve your career ambitions. Browse our range of services, advice, and resources.

Learn more

We understand that no two organisations are the same. Find out more about how we've customised our recruitment offerings to help clients meet their needs.

Read more
About Robert Walters Africa

Since our establishment 25 years ago, our belief remains the same: Building strong relationships with people is vital in a successful partnership.

Learn more

Work for us

Our people are the difference. Hear stories from our people to learn more about a career at Robert Walters Africa

Learn more

How to select referees

Your referees are very important in your job seeking process. Once you have successfully impressed the interviewer, a good reference from your chosen referees can be the difference between getting your dream job and being rejected.

Your future employer will want to know from your referees how you performed 'on the job' and if you will be a good cultural fit for their company compared to how you interviewed. Most people focus on presenting their qualifications, skills and experience and spend little time choosing their referees. 

What do referees do?

Referees let a potential employee know their own opinion about your work history, your skills, knowledge and experience. The information they provide strengthens what you have written on your CV because they are giving their word that your background is accurate. Your referee can also be asked to give a character reference which might include factors such as your punctuality, ability to get on with other team members and work ethic.

How do I choose a referee?

Ideally your referees will be former employers, especially a mentor, manager or boss. If you are relatively new to the working world, you can choose a teacher/lecturer/tutor, PhD supervisor or examiner. The best references are written by people who know you well, so pick the person you worked most closely with. And choose people who will be as positive about you as possible.

The best references are written by people who know you well, so pick the person you worked most closely with.

Ask for permission

Your referee must be aware that you are giving their details to a potential employer so make sure you ask their permission first. Also, make sure the person you have chosen is relevant to the job you are applying for and they know what the role is so they can tailor their reference. After your interview inform your referees that they may be contacted soon and thank them for their time.

How many referees do I need?

Most people choose to have two referees on their CV. However, some employers will ask for three so make sure you have a back up. And remember...you must give your referees’ names and contact details at the bottom of your CV.  Or, if you have several referees available to contact, you can put 'references available on request' on the bottom of your CV. That way you can tailor which person will be most suitable to provide a reference for the position you are applying for.

Share this article

Related Solutions

Sign up for job alerts
Salary Survey
Career Advice
Get in Touch

Find out more by contacting one of our specialist recruitment consultants

Related content

View All

Attracting employers to your LinkedIn profile

With more than 500 million existing profiles spanning a geographical reach of 200 countries and two new members joining every second, LinkedIn is changing the professional landscape and making it easier for recruiters to interact with you. An effective online professional profile has therefore becom

Read More

Looking for a fulfilling job? Ask yourself these 6 key questions

Dreading another dull day in the office? If you’ve lost your passion for work, it could be time to make a break. Find a job you love by asking yourself these six essential questions… 1. What do you actually like about work? When trying to figure out your dream job, it can be tempting to do just that

Read More

How to decide between two job offers

It might sound like the dream, but having two job offers on the table can make for a hard decision. Our experts share some crucial things to consider if you’re struggling to decide. Don’t keep them waiting “Some companies may give you up to a week to make your decision, although this will largely de

Read More

I'm Robert Walters Are you?

Come join our global team of creative thinkers, problem solvers and game changers. We offer accelerated career progression, a dynamic culture and expert training.