5 Tips to Make the Most of your Job References

Most job seekers today know how important it is to have good job references.  Regardless of the employment opportunities, positive feedback from former employers can make all the difference between a job offer and hitting the streets again.

But assembling a list of names is only the tip of the iceberg. Many job seekers fall short because they fail to adequately prepare their references to 1) provide a reference and 2) to respond favorably when they are actually contacted.

So no matter the type of employment opportunity you are looking for – full-time employment, part-time employment or temporary work – use these tips from Snelling to ensure that your potential employer gets a glowing recommendation every single person on your list.

  • Get permission to place someone on your reference list.  No one wants to be blindsided, so tell anyone you might list as a reference what job (and with whom) you are applying for – in advance.
  • Make sure they’re up to the challenge. Make sure the person you selected wants to provide a positive reference for you and is willing to do so in a timely manner. This may be tough, but the only way to do that is ask them what they would say.  If he/she is unenthusiastic or hesitant or voices concern, move on.
  • Don’t be afraid to coach. People have their own lives, and probably do not remember all the killer things you did while working at a previous place of employment. So help them out. Email each reference a list of qualities and abilities you would want a prospective employer or recruiter to know about you. It may seem pushy, but it can make all the difference in the type of reference you get. Plus you will be surprised how appreciated it is by the people on your list.
  • Keep in touch.  Do not abandon your references during the job search. Asking is not enough; periodically touch base with them to let them know how your search is progressing and which employers might be calling.
  • Do not assume the employer or recruiter will limit their reference check to your list.  Employers and recruiters are notorious for asking references for other references – people not on your list.  You have no control over this, and you have no control over what these people might say.  So make sure that your own references give you a glowing review.

So do you have your reference list ready? Are you ready to get started on your job search? Find your next best employment opportunity with Snelling!

Register with us today and let’s get to work. As a leading employment agency and staffing company, we will work with you to refine your reference list and then match your skills and your needs with a great job – one that may not be advertised anywhere else. So what are you waiting for?  Log on today!