Having the right references can make or break your chances at employment. It is important to find references that are going to be able to tell perspective employers how you can make a positive impact with their company. With that in mind, here are four things to remember when it comes to picking and preparing references for your job search:
Put Together a List of At Least Six References
In today’s employment climate, it is recommended that you have at least six references. While not all may be called, it does give employers a better “sample size” of people they can talk to.
Make Sure All References Are Briefed and Willing To Endorse You
Just because somebody said that they would be your reference a year ago does not mean that they are going to be willing or ready for a call out of the blue from a potential employer. Talk to all of your references, brief them on the job and what you would like them to focus on, and let them know when they can expect a call.
Make Sure That You Have Current Contact Information
Make sure that you have the current information for your contacts. This means having the phone number where they are most likely to pick up, a professional looking e-mail address, and their most current address. Make sure that you double-check every piece of information before you hand it in.
All References Should Be Able To Talk About You on a Professional Level
You want to keep all of the slots on your reference list for those that know you on a professional level. Formers managers and other superiors are great, but so are those that worked beside you or even under you. If you have former co-workers who work in the field that you are looking to either continue in or break into, even better.
For more information on how to make the right choices with references, see page 18 of the AppleOne Navigating the Hiring Process book.