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What Is a Business Reference on a Job Application?

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Job applications often ask applicants for references. Some references are personal while some are business references. Business references are typically included on an application and are a determining factor used by the company performing the hiring.


A business reference helps an applicant by offering credibility to the applicant’s background. References are chosen by people who will offer the strongest recommendations of the applicant.


Business references are generally obtained from several sources. They can be a former employer that can offer the applicant a good report. It can be a business person the applicant knows from personal experience even if the applicant did not work for him. Personal coworkers, supervisors or managers also serve as business references.


Often, applicants do not include references with the application, but offer to provide them if asked. Business references can be made by phone call or email or by the business writing a statement to prospective employers. This letter states the amount of time the business has known the applicant, the capacity of the relationship and whether or not the work provided by the applicant was satisfactory.


Jennifer VanBaren started her professional online writing career in 2010. She taught college-level accounting, math and business classes for five years. Her writing highlights include publishing articles about music, business, gardening and home organization. She holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting and finance from St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Ind.

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