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References Tip Self-Employed Part 2: How and what?

Happy New Year! Yes, we missed our January blog post. What happened to January?


Anyway, we have another post for you, and it’s the continuation of the three-part (for now) series on self-employed strategies to securing a job. If you are not self-employed, you probably will pick up some pointers, so read on!


If you haven’t already read the last post, “Resume Tip Self-Employed Part 1: How to start a resume”, you can access it here.




In this article, we outlined some strategies for you to review concerning references. Since self-employed people do not fall under the traditional employment model, we need to be creative.


What type of references can I use?

How the heck can you get references if you are the boss? Well, if I am recruiting for a specific role, I would like to see how your job impacts other people. Let’s see some examples:


  1. Customers – these are great because if you have happy customers, you’re doing your job right.
  2. Employees – treating your employees with respect is essential, and if they speak highly of you, that tells a lot (considering a lot of employees jump ship because their bosses are a$%hats.
  3. Vendors, contractors, suppliers – these folks do not work for you, so if you can demonstrate you are a good person to vendors, contractors and the like, then that’s a good thing. You can also show that you pay your bills, know how to negotiate, and integrate with different contacts.


How many references?

The short answer is as many as your employer wants.


Don’t worry if you have two (2) references; just let the game recruiting process play through. When the time comes, the employer will ask for the number of references, and you can let them know you have only two, or three etc. If they like you enough, two might be enough; heck maybe just one will do (this reminds me of a story. See below)


Maybe they do not care about references at all, considering references are pretty much a waste of time to check (your friends are not going to say anything bad about you, and some people make these up, so there you go).


I have references, but now what do I do?

Prepare your references for the call.

  1. Tell them about the job you applied for and send them your resume and the job posting
  2. Tell them how long they know you, so they don’t say one year when it was five years.
  3. Make sure they will be available and not on vacation (sneaking off like Rod Phillips during lockdown), in surgery, or whatever is the case.



See, there is nothing to be worry about. I think you have enough details to find a few references and if you feel that you need a bit more information, please contact us and we will help.


If you would like to help us, share this post!






So, as I mentioned above, I have a story about references. I worked for Company X. My “HR Manager” (don’t worry current contacts, you are not among the ‘mystery manager” we speak of) asked me to check some references for a candidate. So, during my reference check, I was able to get two references, and one of them was just okay.


After debriefing the “Manager”, I was asked ordered to go ahead as they liked the candidate and Candidate X was hired.


So, the moral of the story is that maybe you do not need to jump through all the hoops if they like you enough.


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