It is well worth taking the time to get Professional References from a Client at the end of a project (ideally on company letterhead). This way you can show them to a potential Client or Recruiter as soon as you are asked. This could be the difference between picking up or not picking up a last minute assignment.
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Employment Reference Information
The information required for an employment reference often depends upon the job that is undertaken.
For technical IT roles it is important that a reference includes details of technologies and technical skills used e.g. databases, programming languages, operating systems, development tools etc. For less technical roles a description of responsibilities, business benefits brought etc would be ideal.
An IT Employment Reference should include details of:
|At the top of the page the employer should head the letter and confirm the name and address of the company. The reference must be on company letterhead. A prospective client or agency would normally be suspicious of a reference provided on blank A4 paper.
Project Start & End Dates
|Ideally start and end dates should confirm the actual dates on which the contract started and ended however it may be possible to provide just the month and year
Project Role Held
|It is very important for a reference to include details of position held by the Contractor. If multiple roles were held it is either a good idea to list all roles (or you could request several references for each role)
|For Information Technology references technical skills are a must. It is a good idea to split out technical skills into groups such as programming languages, databases, development tools etc. This will help a prospective employer to quickly check that you have experience in a certain area.
|Information should be provided on the type of responsibilities you held in your previous role e.g. you managed a team of 10 programmers. It is important to ensure that your CV is accurate so that when it comes to providing a reference the two documents match up.
|The reference should be provided by a senior figure within the organisation in which you used to work. The referee should provide his or her name, signature and position
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