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The Power of References


When applying for jobs, it’s easy to overlook one important area – references. Application processes are often time consuming. By the time you get to the point of entering references, you find yourself tired, overwhelmed, or annoyed and simply leave that part blank or list people without giving much thought.

I encourage you to slow down when providing references to any potential employer.

References are powerful. They allow your potential employer to hear from someone other than yourself say just how great you are. Or, unfortunately, sometimes just the opposite! They can be the deciding factor on whether you are offered a position.

When providing references, remember these three pieces of advice:

  1. Always list at least one prior manager. Failing to put down a manager as a reference makes it seem like you are trying to hide something. Co-workers are great, but there is specific information that only a manager will be aware of and be able to provide.
  2. Keep them professional. Avoid listing family members or friends, even if you’ve worked with them in the past. These people cannot speak objectively about you and employers may not take what they say seriously.
  3. Make sure your references know you’re using them. Often times candidates list references they haven’t talked to in years or people who have no idea their information has been provided. These people are hard to contact and don’t always return phone calls. And if you haven’t talked to them in quite a while, you may not have their updated contact information. You would hate to have a job offer delayed, or worse, never happen because references can’t be completed.

Take some time and slow down when filling out applications or updating your resume with reference information. Don’t overlook this important part that can have a big impact on whether you are offered your next position.

Kiley Clausen

Kiley grew up in the small town of Oakland, Iowa. She attended college at the University of Iowa where she graduated inKiley-Clausen-updated-150x150 May 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in finance. After college, Kiley lived in Des Moines for a year and worked as a home mortgage consultant at Wells Fargo. She moved to Omaha in June 2011 and joined Celebrity Staff. Since then, she has held various positions including staffing assistant, recruiter, and operations assistant. She is currently the operations manager where she assists the Omaha, Des Moines, Lincoln, and Kansas City teams. She enjoys being part of the staffing industry and finds that no two days are ever the same. In her free time, Kiley enjoys spending time with her husband Justin, daughter Harper, friends, and family.

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