By the time an interviewer asks for your references, you know that the hiring process is moving in your favor. But even though this is a good sign, it does not mean that the deal is done yet. You may have done a stellar job on the interview, but you also need to make sure that your references do a stellar job as well.
Here are some tips to make sure that things proceed smoothly as far as your references are concerned:
1) You should never ask someone to be your reference if you are not sure what they will say about you. Employers usually check your references as a last step before they make you an offer. You can’t afford to be in a position where you have to guess what your references will say. You should know that they will speak glowingly of you.
2) If you don’t list different ways that your references can be contacted, it could cost you the job. 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, and it can eliminate frustration on the employer’s part.
3) If your references are not prepared appropriately, they are not in the best position to be a champion for you. 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.
4) 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.
*Landing new employment has become trickier these days. For help with every aspect of the job search process, talk to a career expert at 877-743-9521 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.