Most job seekers focus all of their energy on resume and interview preparation, forgetting to gather information for their references. They typically remember this detail when asked by the hiring manager. References are generally checked near the end of the recruiting process. It is important to remember that the job reference can be the deciding factor in whether or not you get the a offer. Here are 5 keys to selecting the best job references:
1. Choose Your References
Be strategic about who would be the best references for you: ideally select a mix of people to get different viewpoints. Select a minimum of three people who you have worked with; former managers or co-workers are ideal, as they are most familiar with your work style and character. They can vouch for your knowledge, skills and accomplishments. If possible, include a reference from your most recent job. Avoid listing personal friends or family members. If you are a college student you can use references from internships or volunteer work in addition to your professors or coaches.
2. Ask Permission
Once you establish your references, ask permission to use them as a reference. It is important that they are comfortable serving as a reference for you. Have a list of back-up references prepared, should anyone decline.
3. Collect Details
Make sure you get complete and current contact information for your references, like: full name, current company, title, email and phone number.
Prepare your references to talk about you by keeping them informed of your search. Provide the basic details of the job you are applying for and ask them to call to let you know they have been contacted.
5. Thank Your References
Once you`ve landed your job, don`t forget to share your news and thank your references for their help. This is common courtesy that is so important because these people helped you get the job.