Job seekers spend a lot of time polishing their resumes and sculpting their cover letters to stand out and impress hiring managers. A lot of time is also spent preparing for job interviews, from finding the right outfit to practicing answers for potential interview questions. These are all important, and go a long way in helping land a job. Another very important part of a candidate's job landing arsenal can be who the candidate chooses as a job reference.
A glowing recommendation from a reference can help make a hiring manager's decision on hiring a candidate, so it is best to make sure the right people are chosen for this job. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when filling out your list of references:
1. Choose People In Management Positions
This can include former managers, supervisors or team leaders. You will want to make sure these people can give positive insight on your work ethic, skills and performance. The more closely you worked with this person, the better.
2. Make Sure This Reference Has Nice Things To Say
If you are unsure whether a person will give you a good review or not, leave them off your list. Some working relationships may not have worked out, it happens, but know which relationships those are.
3. Vary The Types Of References
Along with supervisors or managers, you can also include some coworkers on your list. A coworker can give great insight on how you performed with the other members of your team.
4. Ask For Permission
Don't let one of your references be caught off guard with a request to chat from a hiring manager. Before giving out their name and contact information, ask your reference if it is okay to include them. If a few months have gone by and you are going to be giving that person's information out again, contact them and make sure it is alright that you still have them included on your list. It would be wise to confirm their contact information is still current.
5. No Family Members
This is not in the least bit professional. Sure, you're grandmother will most likely give you a glowing recommendation ("Oh, he's such a sweet boy!"), but it is obviously biased.
A list of professional references ready to sing your praises can only help in your pursuit of landing that dream job.