Prepare Your References for the Client’s Call

I’ve heard that references may not carry the same weight as they once did during a job search. This hasn’t been my experience. References can influence your chances of getting the job offer, so be sure you have secured people that will paint you in the best possible light.

  1. When asked for references, include 3 to 4 professional contacts with at least one direct supervisor/manager you’ve worked with recently. It’s best to avoid listing family or friends since it may give the impression that none of your professional references are willing to recommend you.
  2. Before you provide your references’ contact information, make sure they are available and willing to vouch for your work. Prep them by giving a quick overview of how your past skills and experiences have prepared you for the new job. By discussing the job with your references first, they can easily connect your qualifications with the new job.
  3. Pick references who think highly of you and your work. I realize this sounds like common sense, but I do receive negative feedback from references. In these situations, I’m left wondering why the applicant listed this person and whether or not this was the best reference they could get. Instead of solidifying the job offer, I’m left questioning the hiring decision.

Don’t let this happen to you. Take an extra five minutes to prep your references. It will be worth it in the end. Be sure to check out our Resource Center for more job seeker tips.