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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 grew up in the small town of Oakland, Iowa. She attended college at the University of Iowa where she graduated in