Be nice to the people you work with. Everyone: your team mates, people above you (even if they aren’t in your direct chain of command) and those you manage. Someone at a company you will approach later may know your colleagues and give them a call for an opinion.What will they say about you?
Ideally, you want to have your co-workers, and especially those you select as references, say an enthusiastic “YES!!” when asked if given the opportunity they would work with you again. Hopefully, the yes will be backed up with lots of anecdotal evidence of your worthiness.
Choose your references for their knowledge of how you could perform in the new role, ie, not your BFF from your last job.
Advise the references that you are interviewing. When you are ready to be asked for references, let these folks know. Tell them the name of the company, who will call and a little about the job so that they can frame their comments around your ability to successfully complete the tasks.
The most effective way to get a high recommendation is to be a reference yourself. When someone you work with leaves the job, contact them and tell them how much you enjoyed working with them, wish them well. Make it known that you will be happy to act as a reference if needed. Stay in loose touch with people who can attest to your capabilities.
If you have pursued college applications with me, you will immediately see that this advice is similar to and built on the work we did for your high school teacher recommendations. References shouldn’t be left to chance, they should be a work in progress.
Did you know that many companies will only verify your dates of employment? you need to prepare for great references of your choosing. Lets talk about how to do that. email@example.com or 610-2120-6679