Reference checks are one of the key factors in ensuring you land your next job. Companies want to know you’re competent, kind, good to work with, and a fit for their organization. The best way for them to do that is to get firsthand accounts. When you’re deciding who to choose for your references, think about your options. Here are some ways to make sure you pick the right people and provide the right information for a prospective employer.
Consider your contacts.
Start by considering the people you’ve worked with in the past who will provide great insight on your abilities. Employers you didn’t get along with will be a poor choice. Choose former managers and co-workers who can speak about your expertise, and reliability and share positive information. It doesn’t just have to be the HR department.
What do you want to communicate?
Next, consider the things you want to ensure your reference shares about you. It’s okay to cultivate a list of things to help your references know what to talk about. Make a list so you can communicate with your connections about what you want. They may also be willing to share additional insight that will help you.
Talk to them first.
Once you know who to ask and what to ask for, talk to them. If you can, ask them to meet face to face to discuss what you need. It’s good practice to keep up with relationships for networking. You want permission and to make sure they have the most recent positive interaction with you on their minds.
Provide their contact information.
When you submit your references to each employer, make sure you’re including the correct contact information. You’ve already gotten permission to provide this information, so don’t make a simple mistake that could exclude you from the job. Let the potential employer know you’ve spoken to everyone and they are anticipating a phone call.
Do you have your references ready?