When it comes to looking for a job, your references may make or break your application. In fact, the book Jumpstart Your Career says that 40 percent of the time, poor references are responsible for your lack of prospects. These days, it's no longer enough to just put "cited upon request" on your resume. If you want to stand out from everyone else, you need to have a killer list of people who'd be glad to vouch for you.

Here are a few tips on how to choose your references wisely.

For more expert tips on job opportunities, grab a copy of Jumpstart Your Career, available in all bookstores and newsstands nationwide for P195.

1. Look through your old contacts.

If you already have a bit of work experience, you may include former employers, supervisors, co-workers, customers, suppliers, and even competitors in your list of references.

2. References can come from non-professional connections.

If you're a fresh graduate with no work experience, you can cite your old teachers and mentors in your resume. You may even include thesis mates, org mates, or even people from the church or a volunteer group whom you've had substantial interaction with.

3. Keep members of the family off the list.

You need to provide your employers with a list of unbiased names, and your parents, no matter how well they know you or can vouch for you, just don't cut it.

(Photo by waferboard via Flickr Creative Commons; edited by Jennifer Chan)

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