Do Part-Time Jobs Check References?

It’s a no brainer— when you’re carrying out a job search, it helps to have a glowing career objective and impressive qualifications. It’s what sets you apart from the crowd. But most people don’t give as much attention to one crucial part of their resume — the references — especially when they are applying for a part-time job.

Do part-time jobs check references? Essentially, yes. While not all Human Resource (HR) departments will call your references, the majority do. Therefore, to be on the safe side and improve your chances of landing the job, it’s best to provide a list of reliable references.

You may be wondering why references are a critical part of your resume. Well, recruiters rely on your references to get detailed information about your qualifications, employment history, and skills that make you the perfect fit for the job. Not to mention, previous employers are in a better position to give a clear picture of your work history and ability to perform on the job.

Why Part-Time Jobs Check References

There are a plethora of reasons why employers check references. First and most important is to ensure the applicant would be a positive and productive influence on the company. For this reason, recruiters conduct not only criminal checks but also personal checks to find out if you’ll provide the desired outcome.

References are also crucial for backing up the skills and qualifications you claim to possess. Besides, it’s only through references that potential employers can find out if your work ethic and personal values will have a constructive impact on the company.

Recruiters check references in two forms — personal and professional. Personal references vouch for your character, and in most cases, they’ll contact people closest to you like your friends or neighbors. Professional references, on the other hand, speak about your skills and ability to do the job.

Therefore, when listing your references, make sure you include both personal and professional references for the best results.

Do You Need References For A Part-Time Job?

It’s easy to assume that you don’t need references for part-time jobs. After all, you’re only there half the time or a few hours a day. But that’s where you’d be wrong. Every employer needs to know that the person they’re hiring is reliable, and they will help them meet their objective.

For this reason, even on a part-time employment basis, your potential employer may need to carry out a job performance-based reference checking to find out if there’s any inconsistency in what your references say about your work.

The only disadvantage of short-term references is that they can be quite unreliable compared to employers who have known you for a long time. However, you shouldn’t let this be a hindrance. 

As long a there’s consistency in what your previous employers say about your work performance, the recruiter will have an easy time determining if you’re a perfect fit. So make sure you’re bringing your A-game in all your jobs.

When Do Employers Check Background Checks?

Contrary to popular belief, recruiters check or contact your previous employers during the pre-employment stage. According to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 92 percent of organizations conduct background checks at the pre-employment stage. 

15 percent of organizations also revealed that they rescreen employees annually. And 13 percent admitted that certain events trigger employee checks. And that’s not all. The survey also found that 10 percent of employers screen their employees when they’re up for a promotion.

The Secret to Selecting Good References

As you can see, your reference list plays a crucial role in whether or not you land the job or keep it. So don’t just list anyone that comes to mind. You need to know the right people to list as your references to boost your chances of landing the job.

Recent Bosses

Current and previous employers can speak the best about your work ethic. Therefore, if there’s no reason to exclude them, don’t do it. Leaving your boss out of your reference list may imply that there’s a reason you don’t want your future employer to contact them.

However, there are circumstances where you’d not want to include your boss in your reference list. For instance, if you don’t want them finding out you’re looking for “greener pastures” it may not help for your potential employer to give them a call. In such a case, it may be wise to mention that to your new employer.


In a situation where you don’t get along with your boss or can’t include them for one reason or another, it may help to include a co-worker. However, make sure the person you choose is familiar with your work. This way, they’ll be able to give the recruiter all the information they’d like to know.


If you’re still in school or you have little to no experience being employed, adding your professor as a reference may help you land the job. Your professor can attest to your skills, responsibility, and other characteristics that make you stand out.

But you’ll want to ensure the professor knows more about you than just your face. If you’re planning to add a professor as a reference, take the time to interact with them so that they know more about you and inform them that you’d like to include them as a reference. 

This way, when they get that crucial call, they’ll know exactly who they’re talking about and will be in a better position to give you a good recommendation.


It may seem unusual to add your friend as a reference in your resume, but there are situations where it works. For instance, if your friend happened to be your supervisor at some point, they can vouch for your skills and work ethic. You can also use a friend as a reference if they happen to be working in the same industry you’re trying to break into.

Group Members

If you’re not close to any professor and don’t have any previous work experience, it may be a good idea to add group members as your references. However, you need to be careful when choosing whom to add to the list. You need to ensure the project you worked on was not only a success, but you also had a fantastic experience working as a group.

Chances are you’ll not get a fantastic reference if you had frequent fallouts with the people you added as references.

People You’ve Volunteered For

One way to make a lasting impression on the hiring committee is to include volunteering experience. It creates the impression that you’re not just in it for the money. And the good news is that most people you volunteer for will be willing to give you a reference if you did an amazing job. So milk this opportunity dry, especially if you have no prior work experience.

High School Coach or Favorite Teacher

If you are in high school or looking for your first job with no references, then you might want to consider your coach or favorite teacher. Remember, as mentioned previously, make sure to pick a person that really knows and respects you. Coaches and teachers act as mentors throughout high school and many are glad to help you get opportunities to advance in life.

Odd Jobs Matter Too

Remember when you mowed the lawn or babysat for your neighbor? That is considered work, as well. And if you did it for a while, it wouldn’t hurt to add your previous employers as references. They can vouch for skills like time management, responsibility, and discipline, among other things. Once you have more job experience, this probably would not be as useful.

How Many References Should You Include?

Make sure that the people you list know that you will be using them as a reference. You may be wondering how many you need for your resume. Experts suggest (Monster Job Reports) at least three to five references for typical job seekers. But if you’re applying for a senior position, five to seven would suffice.

And when you’re listing your references, it’s always advisable to start with your strongest reference.

Back Your References with Superb Info

While having several references to vouch for your skills is crucial, you shouldn’t forget the essential step— creating an unmatched resume. Wow them from the beginning and finish off with incredible references that can back up everything you’ve said about yourself. That’s how you land your dream job!