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Always follow up with a thank you You probably send the hiring managers a thank-you note after an interview, so why not add your references to the list?“Each time your reference supports you with a new, prospective employer, send them a personal thank-you note–or, at minimum, an e-mail,” Shane says.“It’s a great opportunity to review your past responsibilities and remind that person of the successes you achieved when you worked together,” he says.“A quick chat can also help you gauge whether or not the reference will be glowing.”3.Format your reference list comprehensively The standard list of names and contact info is no longer sufficient for hiring managers these days—you should also include exactly which attributes which reference can attest to, Shane says. In a world where a hiring manager might spend 30 seconds skimming résumés, this approach can help further showcase your specific achievements.“When you offer a reference list at the conclusion of an interview in a highly professional format, it can create a proactive and favorable impression,” Shane says.Not only that, if your hiring managers know exactly which skills your reference can speak to, they’ll waste less time asking him questions he can’t answer.6.And a glowing reference could be what gives job hunters the edge they need to shine over the competition, especially in today’s corporate culture where there’s a lot at stake if you hire a poor fit.“The wrong people are hired all the time, and it costs a lot of money,” says 30-year headhunting veteran Jim Giammatteo, author of No Mistakes Resumes. And much of this could be eliminated if reference checks were handled better.”So whether you’re a job seeker looking to foster the right reference relationships–or you’re acting as a reference and want to make sure you’re helping, not hurting, someone’s chances–here’s how to ace job reference etiquette.Related: 5 Things Job Candidates Obsess Over—But Hiring Managers Don’t Résumés and interviews may do most of the heavy job-hunting lifting for you, but hiring managers take them with a grain of salt: 58% have caught a lie on a résumé, and 33% have seen an uptick in résumé “embellishments” since the recession.

At any given time in our careers, we’ll either be the reference seeker or the giver.

Also, check with your prospective employer whether they will, in fact, be calling versus sending an electronic reference request, which has become more popular.

Your reference might prefer a quick phoner–if that’s the case, consider reaching out to the hiring manager and ask if it’s possible to make a call instead.5.

Enter your references, who can help verify that you’re the superstar you say you are.

But how can you ensure that your references will actually help you get the job–and make sure you’re not burning any bridges with them along the way? Choose people with whom you’re friendly but not too friendly.

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