Photo Courtesy: Eduardo Merille
Job seekers put in hard work in writing a resume and then tweaking it painstakingly to make a strong case for their selection for a job. Many a times, they finish it with a flourish by adding a final line at the bottom in italics saying â€œReferences available on requestâ€ – and then promptly forget the next necessary step to take in this regard.
Any job seeker, before and after writing those words, must make sure to fortify these references being offered to an employer. It has to be realized by all job seekers that employers are not taking any chances these days and more and more of them are seriously following these references for a feedback on potential employees.
A Bad Reference can Cost You the Job
Derek Sankey of The Calgary Herald cites a survey by Office Team in his article â€œBad reference can cost you the jobâ€ published in The Vancouver Sun as revealing that â€œone in four job candidates are removed from a shortlist after speaking to referencesâ€. It is all the more heart breaking as employers contact your references only after your resume has been whetted to your advantage and you are actually on a very short list of potential successful candidates. But why does this happen? Answer – because we fail to properly manage our references.
Will They Vouch for You?
It can be a very serious mistake to just assume that Mr Goodman would automatically vouch for you, if an employer calls up to ask about you, because you worked for him a couple of years ago. The article suggests that you have not only to ask someone before you mention him as a reference but also discuss what kinds of strengths and weaknesses might come up during a call by an employer.
Choose Your References Carefully
You have to honestly ask yourself a question while choosing a reference – why would this person say good things about me behind my back? Have you worked under or with this person and during this time did he specifically mention noticing your good qualities? If you’re not too sure, it never hurts to ask. Once you have an honest one on one with this person, you’ll be sure in the knowledge that what you thought he or she perceives about you is actually in line with your own expectations (or not).
Also, once you have their assurance, they are also sort of committed to say genuinely good things about you. Plus, they are professionals and responsible citizens and won’t go back on their word, so now you can trust your carefully chosen references.
Never Forget to Thank Your References
And, of course, never forget to thank your references later, selected for the job or not. By doing this, you will keep them in the loop and make sure that they will be useful for you if and when you need them again. According to Sankey, â€œSolid references may include a past professor, a leader from a volunteer organization you worked with, an outside mentor, a peer in the same managerial group, your direct supervisorâ€ and someone â€œwho can speak to your strengths and weaknesses along with past experience.â€
References have become very important in this day and age to verify your credentials because the job market is spread along a vast space now â€“ geographically and job-categories-wise too. So it is all the more important to select good references for yourself by people whose authority and stature command respect and can render your job selection successful.
Read the full text of the article quoted here: