Obtaining good references is essential to seal the deal after your job interview. Strong references will complement your résumé and set you apart from other candidates. Providing a weak reference is like taking the icing off a cake. Although the cake remains, it may seem less appetizing. After you have spent time updating your résumé and spent hours looking your best at job interviews, you should plan for a strong finish and have great references to offer.
Follow these five tips to secure great references:
1. Stay in Contact with Your References
Make sure the contact information for your references is up to date. Reach out to those on your reference list a few times during the year to keep your connection strong.
2. Keep a Portfolio of Reference Letters
Keep your letters of reference and any other accolades, such as employee reviews or awards, in one handy folder. If all your reference letters are printed and in one place, you can easily pick which ones to hand over after the interview.
3. Let Your Reference Know What You Need
Before adding a name to your reference list, take the time to let your reference know what type of job you are looking for. Each reference on your list should highlight one of your skills. For example, one may highlight your “people skills” whereas another may give details regarding your project management skills.
4. Provide an Outline
Do you have a stellar reference that will really help you land the job? If so, make sure you provide him with an outline or list of your key attributes. Because your references are doing you a favor you should make it easy for them. Also, by providing a list of talking points or an outline for written communication, you can ensure your future employer gets laser focused information.
5. Remind Your Reference of Your Timeframe
If you are requesting a written reference, make sure you are clear on when you need it. Give your reference a deadline of two weeks to write the letter and add another week if the letter is being mailed to your potential employer. For a verbal reference, make sure you check in with your contact directly after your interview. That way he will be anticipating the call for the next few days and have your resume or list of talking points handy.
Remember to thank your references! After someone has taken the time to go to bat for you, the least you can do is thank them. Showing you appreciate them by sending a thank you note or email is good business etiquette.
If you are ready NOW to take the next step to advancing your career, call us today. At Strategic Recruitment Solutions, we believe in making the job search process a completely candidate friendly experience. So why not send us your confidential resume today? At Strategic Recruitment Solutions, we are here to give you an honest assessment and let you know how your goals fit into the current market. We will also guide you through the interview process from beginning to end. Let SRS help you put your best foot forward!