During your job search, having a friend or colleague who might be able to give you an “in” at your target company is extremely valuable. However, before you start namedropping like a rapper recording a debut album, here are four important things to consider:
Do You Have Permission to Namedrop This Person?
It is best to ask an individual for permission before giving their name to a potential employer. Letting the person know ahead of time allows them to prepare for a call from the employer, helping them to be a better advocate on your behalf. It also allows them to make you aware of any issues you may want to know before using their name. They may even be willing to pass your resume to the employer directly, making it more likely to be reviewed favorably.
Is the Person Relevant to the Situation?
Rattling off a list of people who are not relevant to your potential employer will not help you secure a job. When it comes to namedropping, consider quality over quantity. You should mention the people whose references will have a highly positive impact on the employer’s decision.
Will They Back Up Exactly What You Are Saying?
When you talk about your successes and your relationship with the person you’re namedropping, make sure they remember your contributions the way that you do. For instance, if you say that you were key to some great accomplishment, but they say your involvement was minimal, that may confuse the image you’re attempting to create with the employer and leave a negative impression.
Could Your Namedrop Put Your Current Job in Jeopardy?
If you don’t want your current employer to know you are looking, keep in mind that even former managers and colleagues may still be in communication with your current employer. Think carefully about how much namedropping this person adds for you and how much you trust that they will keep your search private.