Giving Job References

You put great care into every aspect of your job search:

  • You customize your resume for each position for which you apply.
  • You practice the answers to common interview questions.
  • You research potential employers beforehand.
  • You carefully choose an appropriate outfit to wear on job interviews.

But are you forgetting an important detail? (Hint: check the post title!)

Job references can ultimately make or break your chances of landing an offer. So put as much care into selecting and preparing them as you do the other aspects of your job search. Today, PrideStaff shares tips for ensuring glowing recommendations from former employers – and getting the offer you want.

Choosing job references.

  • Think strategically. Instead of automatically listing your most recent supervisor, think instead of what’s in your career’s best interest. What kind of reference do you need? Who knows you best and can accurately communicate your value to a potential employer? Make a comprehensive list of former managers, co-workers, colleagues or even supervisors in other departments who will say positive things about you.
  • Get permission. Before providing the name for any reference, obtain that individual’s express permission. Make sure he is willing and able (i.e., not constrained by company policies) to answer questions about you in a timely and positive manner. If a potential reference declines your request, be gracious and don’t take it personally.
  • Collect relevant contact details. Be sure to compile a list of up-to-date contact information for each reference, including full name, job title, company name, business address, email address and daytime phone number. Provide this to the employer only when asked.

Preparing job references.

Once you’ve chosen your references, prepare them to give you a solid recommendation:

  • Give them notice. When the time comes, let your references know when and from whom they should expect a call. Be sure to convey how much the job opportunity means to you.
  • Recap your strengths and accomplishments. When you contact your references, briefly remind them of all the great things you did while working for them. Touch on your key responsibilities, biggest accomplishments and greatest professional strengths.
  • Remember to say “thank you.” Once you get the job, send a note or call your references to thank them for their help. They’ll appreciate the courtesy and be more likely to assist you again, should you require another recommendation in the future.

On the job hunt?

PrideStaff can make your search easier and more successful. When you register with us, we can help you:

  • Improve your resume and interviewing skills.
  • Choose the best references.
  • Broaden your experience with a variety of temporary assignments.
  • Earn money while you look for a full-time job.

Contact the PrideStaff office in your area to find out more about great local job opportunities.