III. Set up a
meeting. It is very advisable to meet with each reference
personally if possible. At the very least send them a note
stating that you are job hunting and would like to use them as
a reference, or call them. Be sure to share with them your
current resume and let them know the position for which you
are applying as well as the type of qualities the company is
seeking. Give them the impression that their reference is
critical to your obtaining the job.
your personal information. Refresh their memory regarding the
position you held, go over your past responsibilities; remind
them of solid results you gave the company. It is not a bad
idea to visit the HR Department and verify that all
information in your personnel file is correct.
V. Conduct a
personal exit interview. Go over with each reference what they
will say in response to questions regarding your strengths and
weaknesses. You should try to learn what your references are
going to say about you. Do not take things personally, be
upbeat. During the conversation update them on what you are
doing, and how you have been adding experience and turning old
weaknesses into new strengths. If they feel you are aware of
your own weaknesses it may lead them to say you are
open-minded and that you strive to grow professionally. One of
the key skills in the workplace is effective communications.
Your reference will feel comfortable stating you are a good
communicator if you have filled them in on whom, why, what and
prepared ahead of time. It pays to take the time early in your
job search to identify and prepare your references. The last
thing you want to happen is to lose out on a good position
because you did not have your references prepared. You can
even use your references as very effective networking tools,
mention that you are currently seeking a new position and
wondered if they would mind if you used their name as a
reference. Tell them what you have been doing since the last
time you worked with them. Not only is this the courteous
thing to do it also keeps them updated on your career. Any
reference that is well informed about the progression of your
career will be a much better reference. Ask them if they know
of any current job openings in your field.
Communicate with your references. When a specific offer is on
the horizon, let your references that you will be using them
as a reference. When you advise them of the company name, they
will feel comfortable giving out information about you or and
will return calls in a more timely fashion.
Follow-up with your reference. When you get your new position,
make sure you call them and advise them of your new position.
Keep them posted about your career, when and if you need them
in the future, they will feel warm about you.
to detail. Always check to be sure of the correct telephone
number, area code & company name when giving out
references. With today's mergers and other technology changes
things are changing daily. Should you list an incorrect
telephone number, or if a reference has taken a position
elsewhere, it looks as though you are totally out of touch
with your references.
X. Check your
references. Why leave it to chance? If you are not 100%
convinced that your references and past employers will relay
positive comments about you to prospective employers,
then check out their responses. A professional employment
verification and reference checking firm can either put your
mind at ease, or supply you with the critical information and
evidence that has been blocking your job searching efforts.
Heidi M. Allison is the
Managing Director of MyReferences.com
(an Allison & Taylor Company), sn employment verification
and reference-checking firm. For more information, visit http://www.myreferences.com/getinterviews
or call (248) 651-9299.