START AT THE TOP: When looking at your network and who to choose, the higher the position of the individual, the more credible their recommendation. Itâ€™s always best to go with a manager or top-level executive. When providing academic references, your professor, department chair, or dean are the best choices.
While your coworker or classmate who sat next to you might have wonderful things to say about you, itâ€™s the opinions of those in leadership that really matter the most. A strong reference from the head of the department, or the companyâ€™s vice president carries much more weight than someone in the same role as you. If you don't have top executives in your network to ask, focus on establishing relationships with key managers and leaders, because youâ€™ll never know when youâ€™ll need them to vouch for your performance.