Providing References in Job Search
Providing References in Job search – here is more advice from The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book.
Recruiters usually ask for references when you apply for a job. And many job seekers feel uncomfortable about approaching potential referees. You shouldn’t feel embarrassed though. Most people feel flattered when asked, but you should give them the opportunity to say no. Tell them you will understand if they feel they simply don’t know you well enough to help.
Here are my top tips for providing references in job search successfully.
- Don’t add referees to your CV. When providing references, list them on a separate piece of paper if they are asked for by the recruiter.
- Provide at least three. If the recruiter doesn’t specify how many are required, give three with clear contact information. Contact details should include name, role, organization, postal address, email and telephone number.
- Include professional connections who will say things that support how well you are qualified for the job. You could include employers, colleagues and customers from earlier jobs. Also people you have worked with as a volunteer, or studied with like teachers and lecturers.
- Short on professional references? Include a personal reference who can attest to your character and abilities.
- Your present employer. If your present employer doesn’t know you are applying, don’t give their name at an early stage. If you are successful you will probably be asked to give their details later. Have care when you tell your present employer you are applying elsewhere and show them how you aim to support your current work before any move.
- Ask permission. Always ask permission before you give someone’s name and tell them about any vacancy where you have mentioned them.
- Remind your referees how good you are. I usually suggest people explain the vacancy to their referees and remind them why they think it is a good fit.
- Are you in the public sector? Many public sector organizations will only offer bland references as your employer. When it arrives their reference may only be a statement that you worked for them in a particular grade or role over a particular time. Most large private sector employers know this but for others you may have to explain. You will usually need to give something more. Try asking your line manager or someone in your management line, if they would be ready to give you a personal reference as well as the one sent officially by HR. Many managers are more ready than you expect to help. Also consider approaching retired senior colleagues and others who have left the organization. You might also consider asking for a personal reference from someone who holds a senior position in the private sector. This is where people you have met during work in a voluntary capacity may be useful. Otherwise, consider people you have met through clubs and associations.
- Say thank you. It is courteous thank your referees and let them know the outcome of your application. Who knows, if you are unsuccessful, they may be only too happy to let you know about a vacancy they just heard about.”
This is advice from my book; The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book, How to Win Jobs and Influence Recruiters.
Other resources for the job seeker
As a job seeker, there are lots of useful techniques to learn or to refresh. From writing a modern CV to wooing at the interview, you’ll find lots of tips in my handy little pocket book.
A concise and practical little workbook. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.
Find this and my other books on my Amazon page at this link; http://ow.ly/BRSAL
Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues.