Priscille Chagnon

Create a Powerful Reference List

As you go about your job search process, you probably have heard about having a reference list ready.

A reference list usually consists of 2 to 3 professional contacts that have either worked with you in a particular company or a manager for whom you worked.  This list may be requested during the job application process or after the interview, once the hiring manager has considered you as a possible candidate.  It is important to have this list ready and verified.

An article from titled “How to Format a List of Professional References,” written by Alison Doyle, reminds us what is important about reference lists.

A reference list must have:

  • A proper professional format.
  • Include name, job title, company, and contact information.
  • Choose wisely who you add to this list.
  • You must call to ask permission to add them .
  • Allow them the opportunity to decline.
  • Review with them the projects you want to focus on that will highlight your expertise on the prospective job.
  • Read the article mentioned above for examples and more advice.

A great place to start looking for contacts to add to the reference list is your LinkedIn recommendations which you can print out and format professionally to add to the job application.

Do not underestimate the power of your contacts; they could be the ones that help you get that dream job!

Don’t forget to check out our weekly “Hot Job Opportunities” page!

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How do I know what job is right for me?

Skills ProfilerEveryone has a personal and unique set of job skills.  Yes, even high school or college graduates possess some qualifying and marketable traits that make them competitive in today’s job market.  For example, working at the most basic customer service job at a local retailer can develop the communication skills sought after by some of the country’s top employers.

Ever wonder what career or job suits your unique set of skills?  The CareerOneStop website features a Skills Profiler that will create a list of your skills and match them to job types that need those skills. “You can use this profile to identify occupations that use your current skills, find gaps you need to fill, or polish your resume” (’s Skills Profiler).

Is your business ready for an emergency?

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) announced the launch of a new website, 

This site was created to help Florida businesses prepare for and recover from hurricanes and other disasters.  By providing critical information before, during and after a disaster, the website will help businesses recover and get Floridians back to work following emergencies.

Features of the new website include:

  • A disaster planning toolkit to help businesses prepare for hurricanes and other disasters;
  • Critical disaster updates from the State Emergency Operations Center to keep businesses informed during emergencies; and
  • A Business Damage Assessment Survey to help businesses get back up and running after an emergency. is a partnership between DEO and the Florida Division of Emergency Management.  Other partners include the U.S. Department of Commerce, Florida State University’s Center for Disaster Risk Policy, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, the Florida Retail Federation, Visit Florida, the Florida Small Business Development Center Network and others.  DEO is the lead agency for the support of business, industry and economic stabilization during a statewide disaster.

Attention Out-of-School Youth Ages 16-24!

CareerSource Southwest Florida’s DESTINATION⇒CAREER$ program provides youth, ages 16 – 24, who are out-of-school, with access to quality education and job opportunities.
How? Through individualized guidance, continued support for educational attainment, and opportunities for skills training for in-demand industries and occupations. All culminating with a good job along a career pathway or enrollment in post-secondary education.

The iCareer pathway passport, which includes work-based learning, is promoted through Work Experience, On-the-Job Training (OJT), job shadowing, internships and short-term occupational skills training.

What is my first step?  Contact a workforce professional at a location nearest you to schedule a one-on-one appointment to learn what options are available to you.
Please use our COVID-19 Career Services Form to schedule an appointment, click this link to access the form.
Click on the following link for a list of the CareerSource Southwest Florida centers:  Locations

What do I bring to the appointment?

  • Photo identification
  • Social security card or other proof of social security number
  • Males born on or after January 1, 1960 must be registered for the selective service.  Online registration is available at the following link: 

What services are available?

  • Career exploration = $
  • Workshops on how to write resumes, apply and interview for jobs = $
  • How to decide how much money you want to earn throughout your career = $
  • How to increase your earning potential = $
  • General Equivalency Diploma attainment = $
  • Technical skills training = $
  • Work based training where you can earn while you learn = $
  • How to budget and maximize the money you earn = $

All our services are at no cost to you.

Let us help you with career advice and tips on your job search by following us on Twitter and LinkedIn, and “Like” us on Facebook.

Available Business Services

CareerSource Southwest Florida is temporarily providing virtual services while closing public access to its career centers.  Staff is providing information and assistance via our website, telephone, text and email.

The following is a list of Employer Workforce-Related Resources.

Do you have immediate job openings to fill? Let us help you get the word out.
Send job titles, how to apply, wage information and city where work will be performed to bussvc@URL.  

Short Time Compensation Program for Employers:
The Short Time Compensation program helps employers retain their workforce in times of temporary slowdown by encouraging work sharing as an alternative to layoff.

This program permits prorated reemployment assistance benefits to employees whose work hours and earnings are reduced as part of a Short Time Compensation plan to avoid total layoff of some employees. More Information

US Department of Labor – Wage and Hour Division:
The Wage and Hour Division provides information on common issues employers and employees face when responding to COVID-19 and its effects on wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act and job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

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