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International experience references

International experience references


Yes, absolutely. It would be ideal if you had one or, if possible, two local references but you can also use references from abroad. Book a Work Search appointment with a career advisor if you need help selecting the international references that will be most impactful for your application.

You may need to evaluate the need to change a job title on your résumé to the Canadian equivalent. If you are changing your job title, make sure you choose a job title that does not misrepresent your position or responsibilities (see Highlighting International Experience for more information). If you choose to change your title, explain this to your international referee before they are contacted by an employer.

Additional Tips:

  • When providing your referee’s name, include it in the Canadian format: Title Given Name and Last Name.
  • It is important to provide an email address as it may be much easier to communicate that way than via phone
  • If you provide a phone number, include the country code
  • Explain the time difference explicitly when providing an employer with referees’ contact information

You will have to evaluate whether or not you will be able to use this referee:

  • Does your prospective employer speak or know someone who speaks the same language as your referee?
  • If your referee doesn’t speak English, would they have access to a translator or an interpreter?
  • Would somebody else in your referee’s organization be willing to speak on their behalf or help translate an email?
  • Could your referee write a reference letter and have it translated by a certified translator?
University of Waterloo

Centre for Career Development