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Alberta Supports Contact Centre

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Question
Look for Work

“Who can be my reference and how do I ask them?”

Answer

If you’ve been in the workforce for a while, think of recent and former employers, supervisors, managers, co-workers and clients who have positive things to say about your character, skills, and experience.  

If you’re just starting out, think of teachers, coaches, group leaders, neighbours, community elders or volunteers, religious or community leaders to be your reference.

How do you ask?

  • Ask for a reference in person or by phone or email.
  • Ask questions like, “Do you feel you know me and my work well enough to be comfortable giving me a reference?” or “Do you feel comfortable giving me a good reference?” If your contacts say “yes,” let them know about the position you are applying for and what skills will be needed.
  • Ask whether your contacts would prefer to provide their references to potential employers by phone or email.
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A career services staff will review it and respond via email. If it's something that can help others look for work, explore careers or succeed on the job, a version of your question and answer may even be added to the site.

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If you require immediate assistance, please call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre at 1-877-644-9992 or visit alis.alberta.ca for more information about how to plan your future.

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