When you're job searching, getting job references to account for your work ethic and character is important. There are two categories of people that can provide references: personal and professional. Although you may be tempted to provide personal recommendations as they're more likely to give you positive feedback, you should refrain from doing so. While your character and ethics are important aspects of who you are as an employee, potential employers are more concerned with how you work.

Choosing references can be difficult, but it becomes a lot easier once you understand the types of professional connections to use. Here are five types of people to choose as job references!


Coworkers are one of the ideal types of people to include in your list of references when you're making your list. Managers have a better understanding of who you are as an employee, but coworkers work with you daily. Furthermore, you may develop a friendship with them that goes beyond the workplace, making them more likely to provide you with a good reference. Coworkers see you at work every day and are familiar with how you work in an office, how you handle your work, and how you show yourself as an employee.


Your teachers are excellent recommendations if you have recently graduated from college, high school, a trade program, or any other form of school or training. Teachers and instructors have special knowledge about your skill levels, attitude, and work ethic. Teachers watch as you develop as a student and begin to grasp concepts that will affect your future job. You might consider adding a teacher or instructor to your reference list if you have a good relationship with them.

Professional Group Members

Many job applicants are already members of professional organizations. Other members give excellent references, whether they belong to career development groups or industry-specific professional groups. You should consider asking someone from your professional group as a reference if you're active in your group(s) and have developed strong mentor ties. While these are more personal references, they are from a professional and developmental standpoint. These people can vouch for your character, growth, and objectives.


Using your present clients to get a new job or new clients is a good approach to get a job or project if you work as a freelance professional or at an agency. While employing clients as references can be challenging, they can testify to how you deal with clients/customers and the quality of your work.


They can be excellent recommendations based on your relationship with current and prior supervisors and managers. Future employers appreciate hearing from your boss since they have firsthand knowledge of you as an employee. However, before you begin adding your superiors to your reference list, you should assess your working relationship and, if you are still employed by that person, ensure that they are aware of your job search. If you don't, they may be caught off guard, and your existing job may be lost as a result.

Discover Potential Jobs with ColorComm Search

If you haven’t started job hunting, you can start by using ColorComm Search, a user-friendly recruiting tool that will help you find positions at prominent organizations in the communication, media, advertising, and creative industries! To find out more, feel free to contact us today!