Once you advance in the hiring process and make it to the interview stage, it’s so important to have your references ready to provide. However, don’t just compile some contact information for some people in your professional network – it requires thoughtful decision-making. Learn more about how you should select your references and what boxes you should check pre-interview:
Direct Knowledge of Your Professional Skills
The references whose opinions hold the most merit to hiring managers are those with the closest firsthand experience of your work. When possible, pick references who have supervised you, such as bosses or professors. Colleagues who worked at the same level as you can also serve as references, but they are most effective if they worked closely with you in a team project or otherwise relied on you.
Positive Reference to Give
Your references are supposed to solidify the hiring manager’s decision to extend you an offer, so think carefully about the feedback someone is likely to give. Pick those who you feel confident would give complimentary, detailed, and sincere references about your work performance. For example, a former manager with whom you didn’t have much direct contact may only be able to give a vague reference.
Time to Be Responsive
When hiring managers reach out to your references, they need to be able to quickly get in touch. When you are choosing who you want to be your references, consider how busy their schedules are and how responsive they tend to be. No matter how great of a reference someone may give about you, it won’t do any good if they don’t get back to the hiring manager when contacted.
Given You Permission
Never use someone as a reference without first checking with them to see if they wish to do so. As you are finalizing your reference list, reach out and ask if they would be willing to be one. At worst, it could sour your professional relationship with them if they are contacted to give a reference without permission. Even if it doesn’t upset them, they could be caught off-guard and not able to give as impressive feedback than if they knew to prepare ahead of time.
Explore Your Job Options
Find opportunities that are right for you by working with an experienced staffing agency like PrideStaff Akron. Our team of recruiters can match you with the jobs that are the best fit from employers across industries. Search our database of current available jobs to get started.
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