The Correct Time to Use Your References

Do you know the correct time to use your references? Your references are an important tool at your disposal that can be very useful in helping you to secure your ideal job. This is because there isn’t a much more effective marketing resource for yourself than your references. Although a strong resume and cover letter are your best chance of initially attracting an employer’s interest, your references are so powerful due to the fact that they provide positive information about you from someone other than yourself. This is invaluable information to a potential employer. So, with such a powerful tool in your back pocket, it is important to know the best time to release this information to an employer.

Oftentimes, an employer will ask you to supply them with a list of your references prior to offering you a job. They will want to contact your references to make sure the information you’ve supplied them with is correct, and also to find out what type of worker you are and what your past accomplishments entailed. So, make sure that your references are ready to sing your praises, because this is a very important part of the employment process.

References Are for After an Interview

Since the main reason an employer should contact your references is to verify information you’ve provided them with and to delve deeper into what you have to offer, your references are meant to be used after an interview. This means that you should not be handing out your references until asked to at an interview. Your references are your secret weapon, so you should protect them until the moment they’re needed.

Protect Your Reference Information

If you give out your references too freely or even place them on your resume, you may run into trouble with the people you’ve asked to speak on your behalf. If your references are contacted too often, they could get annoyed or upset and you don’t want to upset the very people that are helping you out. As your reference information is somewhat private contact information, you will want to be protective of this, only revealing them at an interview for an employer for whom you really want to work.

Another advantage of holding onto your references until later is that you will be able to select the best people for that particular position or company you are interviewing with.  Some references are more relevant than others. This way, you’ll be sure to provide an employer with the most appropriate references. Manage your reference data carefully.

Lastly, if you happen to run into a job ad that asks for your references with your application, simply state that you will be more than willing to provide your excellent references at an interview. Or, you can provide the names of your references but withhold the contact information, stating that you will provide this information at an interview.

Remember that your references contain confidential information, and is not something that you should be handing out to anybody. It is also one of your most powerful marketing tools, so use them with caution and release them at the appropriate moment…at an interview.

What techniques do you use with your references? Comment and share below! As always, reach out to Candace if you need more help in your job search.