Job References for Criminology Careers

Job references are key to getting into criminology careers, no matter which occupation you choose to pursue. All agencies and organizations want to see that reputable people are vouching for your knowledge, skills, and personality before they hire you. Many people underestimate the importance of references. Don't be one of them. There are three crucial factors that lead to getting hired: your résumé, your references, and your job interview. Together, they form a three-legged stool, and each leg is vitally important. Take away any of them, and the stool collapses, and this includes references.

Whom should you ask to provide references for you? Well, that depends. If you're just starting out in your criminology career and don't have any relevant work experience, you will probably want to request references from some of your college professors. They're used to being asked to provide references, and if you were a good student, they generally are more than happy to do so.

What about former employers? Well, if they will agree to provide references for you, that's wonderful, and you should certainly include them. However, these days, more and more employers refuse to discuss anything about former employees except their job titles, duties, and dates of employment. This policy is becoming the norm, mainly due to fear of lawsuits. So, there's a good chance your employer may refuse.

If that's the case, then you should turn to managers and supervisors at any agencies or organizations where you volunteered or interned. In fact, these should always be on the list because these folks are often grateful for your service, and may provide raving testimonials to what a great worker you are. This is one of the best reasons for taking internships and doing volunteer work. If you know any prominent people, either on a national or local scale, getting them to agree to provide references will be a feather in your cap.

Keep in mind that most employers won't expect an actual letter of reference. They'll simply want the contact information so they can get in touch with the people on your list directly. So, there's no need to ask anyone to write a letter, unlike when you're applying for college or grad school.

Also, do not put your references on your résumé. List them on a separate piece of paper with the same layout and formatting as your résumé, and always include the list when you send a résumé. References are a key part of landing the job you want, so pay as much attention to this part of the job seeking process as you do to your résumé and your interview skills.

Last Updated: 06/03/2014

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