In today’s world of corporate competition, there is a lot at stake for the employers in case they make a wrong decision and choose a person not completely fit for the job. Hence, a glowing reference carries a lot of weightage by the people looking to hire employees.
Jim Giammatteo, author of ‘No Mistakes Resumes.’ has grabbed our attention to the fact that a number of careers are ruined due to mistakes committed to hiring the employees. The same could be avoided by a mere handling of references better.
6 Ways to Pick Proper References
- Choose people with whom you’re friendly but not too friendly.
In today’s world of social media, the employers tend to check up the background of their prospective employees on various such media to ensure that they are hiring the right person for the job. The important part is, hiring managers aren’t just looking at the profile of the aspiring employees but also their references to make sure they are reputed and reliable.
To ensure that the employers don’t get a feeling that the reference is too friendly with the employee and hence biased, it should be made sure that this reference’s profile is not plastered with photos with you. It should also be made sure that his profile isn’t too outrageous for a person looking at him as a reliable source of information as to whether the prospective employee is suitable for the job or not.
On the other hand, it is good to have this person give you an online positive review for your work. This, according to a recent survey, looks really good to the employers looking to hire you.
- Make the reference request in person.
This request, when made in person, is not only more personal but also increases the chances of that person helping you out. Reconnecting with them and making them feel like they have actually played a role in your success helps boost the ego of this person and hence increases the chances of him giving you a glowing reference.
Calling or meeting in person has another benefit. It provides you with an opportunity to remind that person of the responsibilities you handled and the successes you achieved when you worked together. Moreover, this also helps you judge whether this would be a suitable reference or not.
- Don’t tire your references out.
Repeated requests to a reference are similar to overstaying your welcome. The only result it would yield is that the reference could get annoyed and actually go against what you need him for.
- Give your reference as much Intel as possible.
It is advisable to make the process as easy and uncomplicated as possible for your reference. Hence, whenever you feel like the prospective employer is ready to reach out to your references, you should first provide them with all the useful information like the position and the type of job you’re applying for. This would help them be mentally prepared to provide the right and hopefully a glowing reference to you.
It would also help knowing how this reference would like to be contacted. In some cases, they would prefer a quick call and in others, they would prefer a request via electronic mail first. In either case, you should try reaching out to the prospective employer and request them to follow the procedure so that the person is not annoyed with the way of approach and, as a result, give a negative reference.
- Format your reference list comprehensively.
Apart from the standard list of names and contact information, the reference list should also mention the attributes and skills that the particular reference can actually talk about. This would give a good professional impression on your prospective employer and also save his time since he won’t have to ask each reference the questions they can’t really address.
- Always follow-up with a thank you.
It is always good to appreciate the efforts someone has done for you. Hence, it is advisable to give a thank you call and probably even a nice gift to this reference. This would not only make them feel good but also ensure that they will be there for you the next time you need them.
4 Ways to Provide the Perfect Reference
- Check with HR on reference
Before agreeing to a reference request, it is always advisable to first check in with your company’s HR policy about the same. Certain companies have a corporate policy of directing all such requests to the HR and by not doing so, you might be violating not only the company’s policy but also certain state and federal laws.
- If the answer is no, be honest why.
If anything is stopping you from being a good reference for a person, may it be the corporate policy or a less than satisfactory performance of that person, the best way to go about it is honesty. The same may affect your relationship with that person, but it would also answer his question as to why he might not be getting good references all along on which he could work on. Also, if you can’t be a positive reference, it’s better to refuse humbly to the request than to cost a man, his career.
- Don’t be afraid to lead the conversation with the hiring manager.
While it may seem natural to wait for a question about a candidate to get what exactly the hiring manager is looking for, it generally seems more honest if the reference provides a lot of voluntary information. Hence, you should not hesitate to ask the hiring manager what exactly he is looking for in the candidate and jump in with certain examples of your days working together telling them how exactly the person is fit for their requirements.
Also Read: Urgent Changes In A Resume
- Be upfront about what you can speak to—and what you can’t.
Providing a reference with the right blend of a candidate’s strong and weak points is a tricky but crucial part of reference giving procedure. It is understandable if you want to help a person succeed, but this can’t be achieved by giving them a dishonest or exaggerated reference. The last thing a person wants is to be stuck in an unsuitable job. So you should tell the person exactly what you are going to say about him to the hiring manager, to help them be prepared for questions related to the same and to help them rightly choose whether you would be an appropriate reference for him or not.