When you filled out your last application or gave references to your last employer, how much thought did you give to your references? We often assume that employers don’t actually contact references, and we don’t anticipate all the myriad things that may go wrong when they do. If the reference contact doesn’t go well, it may cost you a job. Read on for steps to take to prevent something like this from happening.
Steps To Ensure Your References Can Give You A Good Recommendation
#1. Plan your references way ahead of time.
Don’t wait until you’re filling out your application or at the job interview to think of your references. This decision requires careful consideration. Also, if you’re thinking about it in front of the hiring manager, the faces you make as you go over possibilities may be amusing at best and job-costing at worst. So, as soon as you begin your job search, start making a list of more references than you think you’ll need.
#2. Give your references plenty of thought.
Of course, we always think of who is most likely to give us the best recommendations. This is fine. The problem comes in because we may not consider how they’ll come off. Will they be readily available? Will they be likely to act in a manner that will make you look good when they answer the phone?
Are they the type of person who always answers their phone?
Do they always have their phone with them?
Could not so professional aspects of their lifestyle end up affecting your reference?
Do they have good manners?
Are they moody? Changeable? Potentially two-faced?
Hopefully this hasn’t made your list of possible references impossibly short. Make the best decisions you can with the references you have.
#3. Once you have chosen your list of references, make sure to prepare them.
The best reference isn’t much help to you if they are sick, going through a difficult time, or on vacation. What if you thought they could answer their phone but they had a change in their work schedule? Always make sure to ask them if they can be your reference as close to the time you begin your job search or submit your application/resume as possible.