July/August Issue

Volume 1, No. 4

 

      Resumes Win Interviews
    
   continued

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.

IV. Confirm 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 when.

VI. Be 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.

VII. 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.

VIII. 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.

IX. Attention 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.

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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.

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