Have you received an unexpected request or a call for a reference for a friend or former colleague? You knew your friend was thinking about job searching, but you wonder, how could they put you in such an awkward situation? You do a credible job, but you believe your responses lacked actual content.
This reference checking incident jolts you into thinking – how are YOU sorted for current and relevant references to validate your qualification and suitability for your dream job should your dream interview arise?
Most employers will request references when the company is seriously interested in you as a potential hire. So we should all be prepared to provide a list of employment references who are knowledgeable regarding your expertise in the qualification and skills required for the job you are seeking.
Remember to get your references in order before you need them. It will save time scrambling to put together a list at the last minute. Quickly forwarding your references upon request to a potential employer can help you secure the job offer.
Once you start the interview process, be mindful of informing your references, and unless you have their permission, do not use someone as a reference.
1) Asking for a Reference: Update the potential reference giver about the type of positions you are applying for, so they can tailor their recommendation to fit your circumstances.
2) Whom to Ask for a Reference: Former bosses, co-workers, customers, vendors, colleagues, and college professors are good references. Recent graduates may use a personal connection.
3) Company Reference Policy: Some employers will not provide skills verification references. They may only provide a job title, dates of employment, and salary history. So find alternative references.
4) Create a reference list of three to four people, containing their name, title, and email in addition to the telephone number. When emailing the reference list, paste the list into the email rather than sending it as an attachment.
5) Request a Reference Letter from soon-to-be former colleagues: Create a file of recommendations from people you may not necessarily be able to track down later.
6) Keep Your References Up-to-Date: Let your references know where your job search stands and update them on who might be calling for a reference.
A prospective employer should ask your permission before contacting your references. And, it is perfectly acceptable to say that you are not at ease with the company contacting your current employer, and offering a list of alternative references available.