BALTIMRE - References upon request. It is part of the resume and sometimes people even put those references on the resume. But it shouldn't be something that is just an afterthought. Those recommendations can make or break your chances of getting an interview or even the job.
Wednesday on Good Morning Maryland's "Get Back 2 Work" series, career advice expert Joni Daniels talked about why those recommendations are so important and why you need to do more then just put some names down on a piece of paper. She explained that you need to talk to those you have as references and explain the job to them and what type of questions they may be asked.
To learn more about making sure you have a good recommendation, click on the video box to the left of this article. We have also included Daniel's tips below to help you get that next job.
How to Get Great References
At some point in your job search you will be asked to provide references. Be ready to provide references that will put you in the best light possible.
1. Who – Think about who should be on the list of people that can be possible references. The list could include former employers, former customers, former professors or teachers, friends who have dealt with you in a professional setting and leaders in your professional associations. If you don’t provide the names, prospective employers may find their own They may do that anyway, but by offering references you can cut down on the time they have to go digging.
2. Ask – After you have gotten your list together, choose about 5 people and contact them to ask for their permission to use them as a reference. Keep track of who you have asked, when you asked them, and how they responded. Ask how they want to be contacted (work phone, cell phone, email, letter). It is VERY IMPORTANT that you check with your references before you give out their names. And when you have given their name to a specific organization for a specific position, touch base with them again (even a simple email.) Employers expect your references to be responsive to their calls.
3. Prepare Them – Discuss the likely questions your reference will be asked by the potential employer. So that there are no surprises. Tell them the points you’d like them to reinforce with employers.
4. Have Answers Ready for the Typical Questions – Prepare them for the typical questions they are likely to get: What was the relationship with the applicant; what were the responsibilities of the job; what are the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses; why did they leave; what was their salary; would you hire them again. This not only helps prepare the references, it may allow you to hear the answer.
5. Stay in Touch – Sometimes the best references are people who no longer work with you. Stay in touch with people you have worked for and with. The goal is always to provide the names of people who are familiar with your work.
6. Choose Trustworthy References – You don’t want your references to turn a call for an opportunity for you into an opportunity for them! Or to joke about some goofy thing you’ve done in the past. If you don’t trust your former boss to give out a good reference, don’t use him/her. If you are asked to provide someone from your old employer, suggest someone who is more familiar with your work – a colleague, customer, or executive in another department.
7. NOT on the Resume – You don’t need a statement on your resume that you can provide references upon request – that’s a given. You want to tailor your references to the specific job you are seeking.
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