General

References: An Important Part of Your Job Search

Many job seekers spend a huge amount of time on their résumé and that’s good: nothing will get you knocked out of the running faster than a shoddy résumé filled with errors and a lack of basic style.

However, a lot of those same people are not paying the appropriate amount of attention to references. A lot just list friends or people they used to work with, sometimes not even bothering to get the person’s permission before doing so.

Here are some important things to consider when coming up with your list of References:

Do You Have Their Permission?

As mentioned, it is imperative to get someone’s permission before you list them as a reference. Can you imagine being called out of the blue by a company wanting to know whether you would recommend a friend’s abilities? Even if this was not an annoyance, you wouldn’t have given any consideration as to what you would say and could end up tanking that friend’s chances. Always get the OK first.

Choose Relevant People

Don’t pick someone just because they are an old friend who will definitely say something good about you. If they are not somehow related to the vocation you are seeking to join, all of the positive words in the world won’t mean very much. They can still vouch for your  character, but even that would carry more weight if they have some experience in that field and know directly how you perform on the job.

Coach Them

There is nothing wrong with telling a reference what you would like them to say. Is there an aspect of your previous job performance that is especially relevant to the new position? Have them emphasize this by including it in their answers. You can also tell them what you definitely don’t want mentioned.