Job Search 101: Preparing Your References

As top recruiters in Springfield, Massachusetts, Stewart Staffing knows once you’re asked to submit your references, it means you’ve got a good shot at getting the job. But in order to further your chances, you need to properly prepare the people on your list. If you don’t, one weak or ill-prepared reference call could derail your chances of landing the job. Here’s how to do it:

Contact your references before submitting them.

Before you give a potential employer a list of your references, contact each one and get their permission. You likely already know they will offer you a positive review. However, if they’re caught off guard by a hiring manager’s phone call, they won’t be able to offer the most relevant information possible. So connect with them ahead of time and let them know a little bit about the position and the company.

Update them on your skills and experience.

If a particular reference hasn’t worked with you in a while, then they might not be sure about the relevant skills and experience important to highlight to the hiring manager. That’s why it’s important to not only tell them about the job, but also remind them about the pertinent projects you worked on together and the qualities they experienced first-hand. You can even send them a copy of your most recent resume and cover letter so they have the details they need to fully answer a hiring manager’s questions about you and further underscore your abilities.

Explain what strengths are important for the job.

When it comes to references, the best ones can give specific examples of situations to hiring managers. That’s why when talking to yours, you should remind them of any instances of actual projects or tasks you worked together on that highlighted your strengths.

A few other tips on references:

  • Choose references you’ve stayed connected with. A past boss from 10 years ago isn’t going to be able to offer much information on your current experience and skill set.
  • Make sure that at least two references are from past managers. One can be from a co-worker. Don’t ever submit family members as references unless the employer is asking for character references.
  • When submitting your list, make sure it’s concise, with the reference’s name, job title, company, phone number and email.

Need more job search help and advice?

Contact Stewart Staffing. As top recruiters in Springfield, Massachusetts, we can offer you a variety of services and resources to help you find your next great job. Contact us today to learn more or search our Springfield jobs now.

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