5 Tips to Secure Great Job References
Part of your job search involves asking for references. Employers ask for references because they want to know what others have to say about you. Your references praise or criticism can sway the outcome of your job offer so you want to think carefully about this aspect of the job search. Here are 5 tips:
Think about who you ask: It may be tempting to ask a friend or family member that has known you personally for years, however, it is important to ASK THOSE THAT KNOW YOUR WORK. For example: a former supervisor, a professor that was your advisor or that you took a class from, a colleague would all be people to consider.
How to Ask: Do not assume that someone will want to be your reference. The courteous and professional approach is to visit in person, send an email or call. Also, ask if they prefer to be contacted by phone or email. Provide your reference with your resume and let them know the types of positions you are targeting.
When to Ask: If you are looking for a job, you should ask as soon as possible. Do not wait until you are filling out forms and trying to meet a deadline. Have your references lined-up and ready to submit.
Keep References Informed: When a potential employer informs you that they are going to check your references, let your reference know and send them a link to the job description. This will help your reference to provide feedback that is focused on the position, not just random comments.
Follow-Up: Let your references know how your job search is going and thank them for providing a reference regardless of whether you were offered the position or not. If you get the job, provide them with your new contact information and try to stay in touch.
For additional job search advice or to meet with a career advisor please schedule an appointment at Pioneer Careers (see Appointments).
Submitted by Patricia Hickman/Director Graduate Career & Professional Development