It’s always a good sign when an interviewer asks you at the end of the interview for your references. Employers don’t waste their time checking references if they are not interested in you as a candidate. Since employers usually check references as a last step before making you an offer, it’s important that you don’t neglect this crucial step.
Here are some tips for making sure that this part of your job search process flows smoothly:
Let employers know what your relationship is to your references on your references sheet. Giving employers some context will help employers know what kind of questions would be appropriate based on what your relationship is to your references. For example, if you have listed a boss as one reference and a co-worker as another reference, the employer will probably ask different questions of your boss as opposed to a co-worker.
List different ways that your references can be contacted. It is standard to list phone numbers on your references sheet, but it can also be useful to list email addresses and even Skype usernames if your references are outside the country. Giving employers different ways to contact your references can speed up the process.
Send your resume as well as vacancy announcements to your references. If it has been a couple of years since you worked with the people who serve as your references, you may need to update them on what you have been doing as well as what your job target now is. A recent copy of your resume can fill in the gaps for your references, and vacancy announcements that are representative of the type of position that you are seeking can give your references more specific information about what aspects of your background they should highlight when talking with employers about you.
Notify your references after you have had an interview where the employer asked for your references. It is always helpful when your references have a heads-up, and they are expecting an employer’s call. If they don’t know that an employer will be calling, they can be caught off guard.
Let your references know when you accept a job offer. It is appropriate to thank your references for assisting you with your job search and let them know what the outcome was.
Reciprocate whenever possible. If you can serve as a reference for the people who have been references for you, then that is one way that you can return the favor.
To speak to a career coach about other aspects of the job search process, call 877-743-9521 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.