Job References: the do’s and don’ts

Before making an offer the employer might want to check your job references. Having strong references will add credibility, and help you to get the offer. Here are the top tips to make your refernces work for you.

Do be careful of who you use as a reference

If they do not know you are looking it can create a very uncomfortable situation when your current manager is asked for a reference. Think about who you will use.

You want to be sure your referee will have good things to say about you. This might not necessarily be your line manager. Pick people you feel know your capabilities best and will speak highly of you.

Do make sure you have all the details for each reference

They won’t be much use if your potential employer can't get hold of them. Be sure to get name, title, email address and telephone number. Collect your job references as part of your interview preparation so you can give them to the interviewer as and when requested.

Don’t ever list names of references on your resume

I’ve known Recruitment consultants who have a very nasty habit of contacting these references about potential vacancies to drum up business for themselves! It’s perfectly reasonable to keep them separate and supply the details on request.

Don’t use a letter of recommendation

This kind of letter can be seen as very old fashioned. Employers would much rather pick up the phone and speak to a real person about you, rather than read a promotional letter saying how great you are.

Do thank your referees

Whether they are contacted by the employer or not, thank your referees and let them know when your search is over. That way they won’t be on constant standby for a call that never comes. Keep in touch….you never know when they could help you again.

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