Did you ever think you nailed a series of interviews and a job offer was
on its way -- only to receive a rejection call?
Unless your intuition was off, if you made it
to the final round, were the top candidate, and did not get the offer, you may want to reevaluate your references.
The way you manage your references can make or break your job search and sometimes career path. Don’t leave anything
up to chance.
10 Dos and Don’ts for Home Run References
Offer references, but only supply them when requested.
to immediately submit upon request all of your references’ contact information and how they prefer to
be communicated with by prospective employers.
Carefully select your references.
Choose people who know you and your work well, preferably from recent experiences. It looks odd if you cannot provide a reference
from the last 10 years.
Be ready to provide a personal reference, even though this
is rarely requested in today’s market. Although a longtime friend will suffice, consider other people who know you well
and can attest to your character -- fellow volunteers, association members, educators, community leaders, and members of the
Ask permission from potential references. If they agree, ask them if they can
provide a positive reference. Listen to your gut. If you’re not sensing a positive reaction to your request, consider
Provide references with information about your overall job search, specific
positions, who will be contacting them, and what to focus on.
Remind references about your
accomplishments, especially impressive highlights that relate to the position for which you’re applying. When
appropriate, provide quantified results.
Don’t hesitate to suggest possible areas to avoid.
Explain why, especially if you have a feeling that your reference will want to discuss them -- even in a positive light.
Ask your references to let you know when they’ve been contacted by potential employers.
Last, but certain not least, thank your references -- every time.
References are a crucial piece to your job search puzzle and instrumental to landing the job of your choice.
How you handle them can make the difference between a professional strike out and a career home run.