Getting to the reference stage of the job search process is like winning a double lottery: you were one of a small group of people chosen from a thick stack of resumes to get an interview; then, you were one of the handful of people chosen from the interviews to get to the reference stage.
You don’t want to get screwed up now.
Checking references can seem like a rubber stamp-type situation. However, it can provide a real impediment if your references are hard to find or if they give you a less-then-helpful recommendation.
Stay ahead of the situation. Preparing for an eventual reference check is like tending a garden – a little bit of work now and then to make sure everything blossoms when it’s time.
Keep in contact with your references. A few check-ins now and then goes a long way to ensuring the perfect response when a potential employer calls.
Keep Contact Info Correct
A reference you can’t find provides you no help. If you lose track of your references, it can delay or even derail an otherwise promising situation.
Disconnected telephone numbers and bounce-back emails can raise suspicions with potential employers. Meanwhile, losing track of one of your good references means you’ll have to replace them with someone less reliable.
Let Them Know When You Need Them
People get busy. Returning calls about recommendations can easily slip down a person’s “to-do” list. Meanwhile, calls and emails checking references come from strange numbers and unknown addresses. They can easily get ignored as possible spam, or (especially in the case of emails) automatically dumped into some obscure folder.
By alerting your references they should expect to get contacted, you increase the likelihood that they will respond in a timely manner. This shortens the process and makes a positive result more likely.
Points of Emphasis
Each position has different key requirements. Ideally, your reference will be able to sell your best attributes for the position you’re close to getting. To do this, they need to know the details.
Keeping in touch with your references allows you to fine-tune their responses for varying positions. You can give them points of emphasis that will allow them to highlight the specifics that most closely match the job in question.
Maintain a Relationship
Remember the musical message of The Breakfast Club: “Don’t you forget about me” (cue freeze-frame fist in the air). Even people you’ve worked with closely can forget details after a time. Keeping up-to-date with them ensures they’ll be able to recall relevant details and give you a meaningful recommendation when the time comes.
Besides, it’s just good policy to stay in touch with people in your professional network. Your references aren’t just there to give you strong recommendations when you find a job. They can facilitate finding the position in the first place. Contacting them regularly makes it more likely they will have you in mind if an appropriate opportunity comes up.
Find a job with Qualified Staffing!
Partnering with a top-flight staffing firm is like having a professional reference cued up at any time. Qualified Staffing will do what it takes to get you into the perfect position. Contact us today to find out more.