Make sure your references are top notch
Too many job candidates disregard the importance of having past supervisory references ready from the very start of their job search.
Recruiters and hiring managers agree that a lack of quality references – or even worse, no references at all – can end a potential interview before it even starts. There is nothing more deflating than to have candidates tell us at the beginning of a search that they have great references, and then when the interview process proceeds to possible offer with the client asking for references, the candidate cannot find or locate a past supervisor.
Quality references can’t be ignored
Here are some quick tips to put you at the top of the hiring list:
- List your strongest and most current references first, those that especially know your job skills and qualifications. Keep these former supervisors in the loop about the new jobs you’re seeking and why they may be contacted. We recommend a nice personal call to your old boss to ask for a reference, but also to share the potential new role with them, so they can be on target to speak to your many relevant talents.
- Can you get a few short quotes from your references about your work or skills to list along with their name and contact? It’s a little extra step that helps make a reference list shine.
- Consider adding former clients or community leaders who worked with you as references. Some companies now have policies preventing supervisors from giving references. You can check with HR at your former company on its actual policy.
- Do you submit references immediately with your resume? That’s a good question to ask your recruiter. The key is there should be no delay when references are requested. Some companies want them immediately, others may not.
- If you can verify how your reference prefers to be contacted – by e-mail first or directly by phone – it’s one more thing that will help both the hiring manager and the person who might take their call.
- Don’t forget to send a thank-you note or even a small Starbucks gift card to anyone who has offered to be a reference. It’s just a nice gesture for someone who’s taking the time to help you out.
If you are a company seeking the best talent for your organization, call or email us today.
Our precise 7-Step Success Process delivers high-quality candidates with speed and accuracy in every search. With our deep industry relationships and expertise, we recruit only the best and brightest candidates for you.