Menu
Matt Damon is Jason Bourne Again

Matt Damon is Jason Bourne Again

Galaxy Note 4 Screen is the World's Best

Galaxy Note 4 Screen is the World's Best

Iggy Azalea Sex Tape Controversy Heats Up

Iggy Azalea Sex Tape Controversy Heats Up

Paris Hilton just bought the Cutest and Smallest Dog

Paris Hilton just bought the Cutest and Smallest Dog

Kim Kardashian Flames Media about Kanye West Attack

Kim Kardashian Flames Media about Kanye West Attack

How To Get The References You Need To Land The Job You Want

Jan 6 2014, 10:36am CST | by

How To Get The References You Need To Land The Job You Want
Photo Credit: Forbes
 
 

How To Get the References You Need For the Job You Really Want

What others say about you is often far more important than what you say about yourself. And that’s especially true for job seekers.

“Prospective employers really take into consideration what job references say about a candidate,” says Jeff Shane, executive vice president of Allison & Taylor, a reference and background checking firm. “You’re only going to say good things about yourself, and personal references are only going to offer positive remarks, but professional references are more detached and will be more candid, loose-lipped, and revealing.”

They’re a chance for the employer to get a clear picture of who you are–so you’ll want to make sure your references paint a pretty picture.

“If the references are consistent with the image the candidate presents during the interview, then an employer may likely give more credit to the statements made by the candidate,” says Al Coleman, Jr., author of Secrets to Success: The Definitive Career Development Guide for New and First Generation Professionals. If the references diverge from the image presented by the candidate, that may be a red flag for the potential employer, he adds.

In today’s challenging job market, a negative review can easily result in a candidate being disqualified from further consideration. “They often have numerous good, qualified candidates,” Shane says. “So checking references is one easy way to weed some out.” Although most employers conduct their reference checks late in the hiring process, some do them earlier, as to eliminate candidates with unfavorable references before spending unnecessary time interviewing them, Shane says.

Because professional praise or criticism can make or break your chance of landing the job, it’s imperative that you choose your references wisely.

“Never assume that a former boss or human resources manager will sing your praises,” Shane says. “They may have seemed to like you when you worked for them, but on the phone with your prospective employer they might end up saying something damaging. Employers love that, because they want to hear from someone who will talk about you good, bad, or indifferent.”

Who are good references?

“Supervisors, former colleagues, or professors can be great references, whereas, friends and family typically don’t provide references that are quite as impactful,” Coleman says. The best people are those who have real knowledge of how your skills and capabilities will fit the potential opportunity. “You also want to ensure that the referrer has a good reputation, or a position that projects a strong reputation in the mind of the potential employer,” he adds.

Shane agrees. “Ask yourself if the person will be perceived as a key, or at least credible, reference,” he says. “Then ask, ‘Will the individuals you choose offer favorable, or at least neutral, commentary regarding your job performance with their organization?’” If the answer to both is yes, you’ve found an ideal reference.

Shane suggests you adhere to the following steps once you select your references, to ensure that the rest of the process goes smoothly:

Contact the reference.

Send a note, make a call, or visit in person to let them know that you’re seeking new employment and that you’d like to use them as a reference. “Be sure to share with them your current résumé and let them know of the position you’re applying for, as well as the type of qualities the company is likely seeking. Give them the impression that their reference is critical to your obtaining the job,” Shane adds.

“One mistake I’ve seen job seekers make is that they don’t provide the referrer with ample notice about the potential of being contacted,” Coleman says. Give them a heads-up and time to prepare.

Verify your personal information.

Refresh your reference’s memory regarding the position you held while working with them and check with human resources to confirm that all information in your personnel file is accurate, Shane suggests. This will avoid any potential confusion down the road.

Keep them in the loop.

Let your references know each and every time you give out their contact information, Shane says. Also keep your positive references informed of your career and educational progress, he adds. “They will be more inclined to see you in a stronger light as you progress.”

Know beforehand what they are going to say.

Unfortunately, many job seekers skip this crucial step. “Some fail to ask their references what they are going to say,” Shane says. “You have to know that they will offer a favorable commentary.”

How do you do this?

Have a discussion.

“Review your past responsibilities, and remind the reference of tangible successes you achieved with them and the company,” Shane recommends. “Review with each reference what they will say in response to questions regarding your strengths and weaknesses.”

Try to learn as much as possible about what your references are going to say about you—but if any of it is less than favorable, don’t take it personally or become defensive. “If the reference feels you are receptive to their comments, good or bad, it may lead them to say you are open-minded.”

Give back.

Note that spending time communicating with your prospective employer takes valuable time from your references’ workdays, Shane says. “If you plan to use these positive references over the years, you need to give something back.”  For instance, each time your reference supports you with a new prospective employer, send them a personal thank-you letter or at the very least an e-mail. Better still, send a thank-you note with a gift card for Starbucks, or offer to take them to lunch, he suggests.

Follow-up and keep in touch.

If you win the new position, call or e-mail the reference, and thank them again for their support.   Provide them with your new contact information, and make an effort to maintain communication.

This is an update of a piece that ran previously.



Follow me on Twitter, Forbes, and Google+./>/>

Source: Forbes

You Might Also Like

Updates

Shopping Deals

 
 
 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

 

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

New iPhones sold in Record Amounts in a Single Day
New iPhones sold in Record Amounts in a Single Day
The new iPhones from Apple, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, sold in record amounts as regard their pre-orders in the span of a single day.
 
 
Cara Delevingne wears no Bra at Burberry Show
Cara Delevingne wears no Bra at Burberry Show
Cara Delevingne attended the Burberry Fashion show in London. She did not walk the runway, but stunned in a very sexy suit that gave deep insights.
 
 
Blake Bortles Won't Be Jacksonville Jaguars Starter...Yet
Blake Bortles Won't Be Jacksonville Jaguars Starter...Yet
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley told The Florida Times-Union Sept. 15 that Chad Henne still get the not over rookie Blake Bortles as the Jags' starting quarterback.
 
 
Kim Kardashian Flames Media about Kanye West Attack
Kim Kardashian Flames Media about Kanye West Attack
Kim Kardashian is in Australia right now cuddling with Koalas. A couple hours ago she lashed out on the media with an Instagram post. It's about the Kanye West controversy of asking a concert guest in a wheelchair to stand up. She says that is a lie.
 
 
 

About the Geek Mind

The “geek mind” is concerned with more than just the latest iPhone rumors, or which company will win the gaming console wars. I4U is concerned with more than just the latest photo shoot or other celebrity gossip.

The “geek mind” is concerned with life, in all its different forms and facets. The geek mind wants to know about societal and financial issues, both abroad and at home. If a Fortune 500 decides to raise their minimum wage, or any high priority news, the geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants to know the top teams in the National Football League, or who’s likely to win the NBA Finals this coming year. The geek mind wants to know who the hottest new models are, or whether the newest blockbuster movie is worth seeing. The geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants—needs—knowledge.

Read more about The Geek Mind.