Nowadays, references are as important as a cover letter or well written resume. No matter, how many certificates you produce to prove your talent, they will still call your references to know more about you. These references are mostly those people who have worked with you earlier or your teacher or maybe your school friend, so they have seen your work temperament and know how you react to certain situations. Therefore, who is better than your references, to let them intimate more about you, something that is not written in the resume already! But, the main problem is that most candidates provide the name of the references without letting the reference know about it. You must be thinking that it is no big deal as the reference for a job will get a call asking some general questions and they will be able to answer it straight away. But, what happens is that in most cases, references are caught off guard and fumble, which might come across as they are making things up. You definitely do not want that to happen because they might make or break your career. You might have gone through the interview process and now it all depends on the performances of the references.
Make the Reference Your Priority:
You must make sure that you call the references and keep them updated all the time. There are some, who believes that once they have let the reference know that their name has been referred, it is not important to contact them again, but that is not the case. Moreover, the best thing to do when you are going for job hunting is to prepare the list of reference first. Though you are asked for reference names only when you are being considered for the job, if you do not come prepared with the name and number of the reference, you will be running short of references.
How to ask someone to be a reference for a job is an important factor, but more than that it is important that whom you should make your reference. You can create a list of your own before providing the number to the company where you have appeared for an interview. If you have been working for a while, then you must keep your previous colleague or superior’s name in the reference list. If you are a fresh graduate, then your reference will be your teachers, friends and if required, you can include the name of your neighbors too. Now, you have the reference list ready in front of you, so you have to think about the next step that you have to take.
Generally, you will see that the company goes for the first three references on your list. Therefore, you have to provide your list that way, so that your first three references are the best ones. In order to decide who will be on top, you can ask yourself few questions like what elation you share with the person or what is the job position you are applying for. Communication skill of the reference is also important because if you provide a reference who doesn’t communicate well over the phone, then you will be at a loss. Never ever produce a reference that might come up with something negative about you to potential employers.
If you are thinking of providing your supervisor’s name as your reference, then you will have to make sure that your supervisor is ok with that. Talk to him to know how he reacts to job changes, if he thinks it is a great way of making a progress in the career, then it will be alright to mention their name else you will have to think of other names. There are some supervisors who consider that job change is a sign of disloyalty, so if your supervisor is one of them, then it is better to keep away from him. Instead, you can ask your colleague to be your reference or if you can manage to ask your client to be your reference, then nothing better than that, but ask them to keep the information confidential. If you are asked for a reference for your character, then you can provide the potential employer with someone’s name who knows you very well for a long time, but he doesn’t belong to your family. Personal reference is where your personal qualities will be referred and all your community services will be mentioned.
Tips to Ask Reference for a Job:
In order to make things really work in your favor, you need to keep certain things in mind when you are arranging for reference.
1. You have to plan, early:
It is important that you prepare the names of your reference way before you start applying for the jobs. The list might include your colleagues, supervisors, or people whom you have supervised. Generally, three references are required, so you can prepare the list .
2. How, you ask is also important:
This is important, once you have prepared your list of references. Calling them up and asking them nicely is the best way to get your reference on board. If you haven’t spoken to your reference for a long time, then it is better that you remind him about you and then let him know that you are providing his name as the reference. You also have to let him know that you are applying for this particular job position, so that he is in a better position to provide relevant information which will help you get the job. You can ask the people whom you have considered as your reference, whether they will have the time to act as your reference. In case, they don’t want to, then also they will have valid reason for not opting to be one of your references. If this is the case, then accept their negative reply politely, don’t force them to be your reference, instead run through your list and move on to the next name.
3. Reference list must be kept simple:
When you are preparing your reference list, just ensure that you keep the document simple and the font style must not be different from that of your resume or cover letter. The format for reference must include the name, organization’s name, department, title, e-mail address and telephone number. Apart from that, you must include the relationship with your reference. When you provide every information that your potential employer needs, you are ready to hand over your hiring manager the reference list.
4. Recommendation letter:
If you can get a reference letter from the organization where you have been working. You can also ask for this kind of recommendation letter through email or letter from your supervisor if he has moved out of the country or has retired.
5. Up to date information about the reference:
If he has moved up in ranking, then mention his latest designation and organization he is working with. You also need to mention what will be the mode of contact for them.
6. Let them know well in advance:
When you are providing a name as a reference, you must let them know well in advance. A week’s time will be a good, but in case you don’t have that leverage, then at least try to inform them quite a few days ahead of the interview. It is important that you provide him enough time to prepare.
7. Make them aware of your present status:
If your reference was your ex – supervisor, then you can provide them with your latest resume, so that they know what you are doing at present.
8. Reason of leaving the job:
If you are mentioning your ex- boss as your reference, then you will have to agree with your boss about the reason why you left the job, else it will pose as a big problem.
9. Jobs you are applying for:
You have to mention which industry you are targeting, then they will be able to frame your success story in a better light. Just let your previous boss know that working with him was a great experience and because of him, you have been able to reach this far.
10. Thank you note at the end:
It is very important that you show your gratitude by sending a thank you note at the end. You don’t need to send in a huge bouquet of flowers, but you can at least send them a thank you note to let them know how grateful you are towards them. If you are hired after that, then you must send in another thank you note stating that you have bagged the job.
11. Stay in touch:
12. People close to you:
You have to come up with a name that has worked closely with you and knows your potential well. They will be a perfect reference for you. Never ask someone who doesn’t have very good reputation in the industry because he might end up saying something negative about you which will hamper your job offer.
13. Maintain a good rapport:
When you leave a company, do it in a proper manner and do not cut down the relation. Instead you must maintain a good rapport so that you can use them as your references in future. When you maintain good terms with your previous colleagues and boss, then it will be a great help in the future.
14. Performance review:
You can maintain a file where all your accomplishments, including praise letters, performance reviews as well as testimonials from customers and clients are present.
Good references pave your way to a successful job search. When someone is acting as your reference, they are actually doing a favor, so you need to treat them politely and in a professional manner to portray that you value the support they are providing you.