How to Pick & Prepare Your Job References

As one of Southern New England’s top employment agencies, Stewart Staffing knows that when it comes to the job search process, one of your most important decisions is who to choose to serve as your references. You need individuals who will make a positive impression on hiring managers. At the same time, you want to ensure they will showcase your skills and abilities in the best possible light. How can you make the right decision?

Here are some tips to help you with the process:

Think before you ask.

Before you decide on a reference, think through what skills or experiences are especially important for a particular opportunity. For example, is it important to have a reference who can speak to your project management abilities? Or to your work ethic and drive? What about soft skills and your personality? When you choose a reference, you want those who are best able to talk about skills, traits and abilities most important for the job you’re interested in.

Also, in general, most hiring managers won’t want to speak to all colleagues when calling on references. They want to talk to past bosses and managers. So make sure you consider a good mix of managers and co-workers to submit in your list of references.

Reach out in the right way.

Don’t submit a reference to a potential employer without asking them first. Not only will they be caught off guard, but it might upset them. Asking first is the polite thing to do and it also gives your reference time to prepare beforehand, so they can offer the best insight possible to the hiring manager when they come calling.

Prepare them.

Before submitting a reference’s contact information to a potential employer, make sure you give them a copy of your current resume and an overview of the job description. Explain what skills, experiences, projects and accomplishments are important for the hiring manager to know about. Don’t tell them what to say, but do guide them so they understand what kind of information is most pertinent to the job and the company.

In addition to that, make sure you provide them with details on who will be contacting them, approximately when and from what company. That way, they’ll know what to expect without any surprises.

The bottom line is that when you choose your references carefully and properly prepare them ahead of time, they’ll be more likely to offer a positive recommendation.

Searching for a new job and looking for professional help with the process?

Call Stewart Staffing. As one of Southern New England’s top employment agencies, we can help locate the opportunities that are the best fit for you. Contact us today if you’re ready to get started…and get a new job!

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