When you're applying for temporary jobs for hire through a staffing agency, you can count on the hiring manager and perhaps even your agency representative calling your references. Making sure that your resume has the names and phone numbers of a handful of references who will speak highly of you can make your application more desirable than a similar candidate's who hasn't listed any references. It's important to get someone's consent before you list him or her as a reference; this way, the person won't be caught off guard when someone calls to ask about you. Here are some other things to discuss with your references.
The Role You're Applying For
You should always call or email your references when you apply for a new position. You might have asked someone to serve as a reference six months ago, but if you're applying for a new job, giving this person a reminder that an employer may be calling is polite. You should also detail the role that you're applying for. This way, the reference will be able to tailor his or her responses to more closely suit the role in question. For example, if your reference managed you in a sales and marketing role but you're now applying for a position that is strictly in marketing, he or she can discuss more of your marketing skills than your sales skills.
What Attributes You Want Mentioned
While you'll obviously want each reference to talk about how you're properly suited for the role you're applying for, you may also want certain references to bring up other attributes. Make sure that you discuss these with the reference in advance. For example, one of your references might not have been a past employer, but rather a sports coach. In this scenario, you'll want the coach to talk about how well you followed instructions, motivated others, and were a good teammate.
Examples That Will Help
When a reference is able to provide a short anecdote on your behalf, it emphasizes whatever point he or she is trying to make. It can be worthwhile to talk to your references about some examples to bring up. This may especially be beneficial if it's been years since you worked with the reference or he or she managed a large staff and might have forgotten about some specific examples. There's no harm in you going over a few things to jog each reference's memory, as these examples can help your case in getting hired.