08 Aug How to get a perfect job reference
Finding the best references for employment is simple
Positive job recommendations can help you secure an offer, and negative ones can cost you one. Ensure that you have a strong list of references who are familiar with your skills and the positions you are seeking.
During your job search, a potential employer might request references and perform a reference check. When the company is seriously considering you as a potential employee, this can occur.
It’s crucial to be prepared to provide a list of references from previous employers who can corroborate your qualifications for the job you want. You may also want to have a few recommendation letters on hand.
Having a plan and letting your references organized prior to needing them will save you time if you have to put together a list at the last minute.
1. Use the right people
It’s smart to use former bosses, co-workers, customers, as well as college professors as recommendations.
If you’re just starting out your career, you can use a reference from people who know your skills and personal attributes and how they help make you a more qualified employee.
When you are leaving a job or finishing school (provided you leave on good terms), you may request a letter of recommendation from your employer. This way, they can write the letter while your work is still fresh in his or her mind.
Only request references from people you know will provide a positive reference. Seek out people who are dependable. You want to be sure your references will respond to employers on time.
2. Ask the right questions
When requesting a reference, ask one of the following questions:
- Are you familiar enough with my work to serve as a reference for me?
- Would you be willing to provide me with a favorable recommendation letter?
Make sure that the people who agree to provide you with a positive reference are those who will actually do so.
Provide your reference with all the information they need to give you a proper letter.
3. Create a reference list
Once you have your references, create a document listing those references.
Prepare it in advance to provide to prospective employers when you interview. Include three or four references, listed with their jobs, employers, and contact information. Verify your reference list twice once you’ve finished.
4. Keep them updated
Keep in touch with your reference network via emails, LinkedIn messages, or other social media networks. This way, you’ll keep them up to date on your life (and occupation search). If you’re fresh in their minds, you will receive more specific, more positive suggestions.
5. Have recommendation letters on call
Employers that don’t request reference letters may want to contact your references by phone or email. It’s important to have some reference letters already available for employers that do request them.
6. Follow up
Let your references know where you are in the job search process. Let them know who might be calling them for a reference.
It is important to send a thank you letter to those who provided you with a recommendation letter when you get a new job. Even if you aren’t hired right away, take the time to follow up with your references. This act will be appreciated.
7. It’s fine to say no
Prospective employers should ask your permission before contacting your references, but not all do. You may say that you are not comfortable with your current employer being contacted.
It’s crucial when you’re employed, but looking for another job, that the interviewer doesn’t surprise your current employer by phoning for references. Therefore, you should have a list of alternative references available.
💡Did you know that your social media can be used as a major tool to help you land a job? There are 6 key ways it can get you hired. Read more here →