References are a powerful tool during the hiring process. Managers often contact references to find out what a candidate can truly achieve and what they are like to work with. That’s why it is important for job seekers to carefully choose their references before applying for a job.
When selecting your references, there are many factors that you must pay attention to. Below are 5 important rules that you should follow when choosing a job reference.
1. Think carefully before selecting a reference.
You want a reference to speak highly of you as a professional, so make sure you choose the best reference for the position you applied for. When choosing references, think about the type of reference you are looking for. Do you want someone who will speak highly of your work ethic? Do you want someone who can illustrate your personality to employers?
The most effective references are those who have had the opportunity to experience your personality and witness your accomplishments first hand. Do not feel like you must have your former boss as a reference. You may ask a mentor, college professor, previous co-worker or professional colleague. It is often more likely that the people you interact with closely will give you an accurate reference.
2. Ask for his or her permission.
In most cases, your colleagues will be flattered to serve as a reference. However, it is always respectful to ask for their permission first.
Never use a reference without asking for his or her permission.
3.Collect important details about the reference.
Once you have secured a job reference, collect their contact information. Record their full name, their current title, phone number and email address.
These details will be required by most employers during the interview process.
4. Coach your references.
It is important to make sure that your referee’s have a copy of your current resume and samples from your portfolio. You should explain your skills, important projects that you have worked on and your best accomplishments to them.
This will assist your referees in giving you the best and most relevant recommendations to potential employers.
5. Keep references informed during your job search.
As an active job seeker, it is essential to keep your references informed during your job search. No referee wants to be called for a reference when they are not expecting it.
When you include a reference on a job application, follow up and inform them to expect a phone call or email from a potential employer. This will help them prepare a better reference for you and they will appreciate being informed throughout the hiring process.