With the time and energy required to find that perfect role including searching, resume preparation, testing and the actual interview, an important final step of the process is often overlooked. References.
It is reported that around 85% of hiring managers will check at least one reference as part of their recruitment process. More importantly, hiring managers have indicated that they are less likely to hire a candidate who cannot provide easily contactable and acceptable work related references.
Gone are the days of handing a hiring manager photocopied letters from your neighbours and Nana detailing what a nice person you are. Personal and character references are rarely requested in today’s recruitment process.
The fact is that your employment or work related referees can have a huge impact on your chances of being hired. A good reference can definitely be a deciding factor in securing a new role.
It is not usually a good idea to detail your references on your resume unless you are specifically requested to do so. Instead it is best to note that ‘References are available upon request’ and then have them readily available when required.
Think carefully about who is best to use as your reference. Hiring managers often prefer to speak to someone from your current workplace but this is not always possible. Look to other companies you may have worked for and consider not only direct supervisors and managers but also close business acquaintances, educators, colleagues, co-workers or even long term customers. Someone that can make valuable comments and good assessment on your strengths, abilities and skills.
Always get permission from your referee before you use them. Provide them with a copy of your latest resume and keep them updated in regards to what sort of roles you are applying for. If appropriate you may also like to provide them with a brief description of the job opportunity or a copy of the position description for the role you are interested in.
Provide business phone and email details for your reference in an effort to make them easily contactable. Also, have a backup or alternate contact as a reference just in case your chosen reference/s are not available.
Finally, always remember to say thanks. Regardless of whether you are successful in securing the role or not. Some job seekers find that they use a particular reference several times throughout their career and others maybe just the once, but a good, reliable reference is often the final job hunting hurdle!
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