Make sure your references are top notch

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Don’t underestimate the importance of references.

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.

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 former supervisors in the loop about the new jobs you’re seeking and why they may be contacted.
  • 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.

image of Close-up Of Two Businessmen Holding Card Over Desk

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 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.


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