Choosing job references is a critical component to a successful job search and will require thought, and you will need to contact potential individuals. While you may be superb at selling yourself to a potential employer, you will also need references to back up your claims. Companies need to ensure that they hire the right professional before making the investment and; therefore, always ask for job references.
Below are a few tips to help when choosing job references:
Make a List
• Before you start searching for a job, make a list of at least five people that you have worked closely with and who might have seen you at your best. You can then contact them and explain to them about your job search and ask if you can provide their contact details and name them as references.
Use Willing References
• Negative references occur when people agree to serve as a reference grudgingly. Therefore, only to use references that you trust and happily agree. Provide them with a few details like the position that you are applying for and the qualifications and skills that you will be selling for the job search strategy. You want references that remember you using those qualifications and skills and would be able to discuss them in detail with your potential employers.
Get Them in Writing
• Get your job references in writing, if possible. If you can get a letter of recommendation, it may prove to be more valuable than merely providing contact information. Provide a reference letter to the hiring manager that lists your reference’s positive experience of working with you, that way it will be read before the manager calls your references to learn more about you. If you are a fresh graduate and do not have any experience, get letters from your professors.
• Join LinkedIn. Employers today go beyond the references you provide and use the internet to find more information about you. Having a LinkedIn profile is important, and it can prove to be an excellent opportunity to get your former and current colleagues to post recommendations for your profile. LinkedIn continues to get more popular among professionals and, therefore, the recommendations you have on your profile will prove to be valuable.
After choosing job references, it important to give them a heads-up when you have an interview scheduled. It is also helpful to provide them with information about the company you have an interview with, the position outline and any other details that you think might be important.
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