Job references will be an asset to you during your job search, if well selected. These individuals can make or break your chances of getting the job of your dreams. It is essential to put thought into who you utilize, and give him/her the resources needed to help you out.
Select the Right People:
- Select current or previous managers, supervisors, or peers who know you well and communicate well. You will need a minimum of three individuals.
- When asking an individual to serve as a reference, phrase your question as, “Would you be willing to give me a great reference?” Ask in person or by phone so that you can gauge their response. If you see any doubt, consider utilizing another individual. You want to have enthusiastic fans who can speak to your work.
- Be certain that your reference is allowed to speak about you. Some organizations require all reference checks to go through Human Resources; this will not look good for you.
- Give your references a copy of your resume — they may not realize that while you were working for them, you also led a fundraising campaign for a local charity. This will strengthen their ability to support you.
- Share our list of possible questions provided below; review this with them to see if they have any questions for you. Ensure your references have quantifiable information to tie with their answers, this will help to validate the quality of the reference.
- If you have any idea on date/time they will be contacted, give your reference a heads up.
Reach out to your references after they have spoken with the recruiter, and do not forget to send a thank you note!
Possible Reference Questions:
- How long have you known the candidate?
- What is the nature of your relationship?
- What are the responsibilities of the candidate in this position?
- Can you describe an example of how the candidate handles stressful situations?
- What were the candidate’s key accomplishments when you worked together?
- What are the candidate’s top three greatest strengths?
- What are the candidate’s top three areas for growth?
- How do you recommend to best manage this candidate?
- Would you hire this individual again?
- How do you rank this candidate compared to others in the same position?
- How does this candidate handle negative feedback?