Tristan talks about references during a job search. Throughout your job search, you may be asked to provide references. It’s important that you understand the point of references, when you should start thinking about them, who to pick, and how to present the information. So let’s dive into it!
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Tristan: What’s going on, Living Corporate? It’s Tristan, and I want to thank you for tapping back in with me as I provide some tips and advice for professionals. Today, let’s talk about references during a job search.
Throughout your job search, you may be asked to provide references. It’s important that you understand the point of references, when you should start thinking about them, who to pick, and how to present the information. So let’s dive into it.
When a potential employer asks you to provide a reference or references, they typically want to speak with a previous employee, coworker, or manager. Many people wonder why references are even requested in the first place. Well, over the past couple of years, various laws have made it difficult for recruiters and hiring managers to get information out of previous employers. So, many companies started requesting references to speak to someone who can vouch for you.
It’s important to start thinking about who you want to list as a reference towards the beginning of the job search. Most companies will request 3 references, so that’s a safe number to secure. You need to select someone who not only knows you but can clearly speak to your performance and your potential using a professional lens. They need to be able to provide tangible examples of your work. This means I don’t recommend you select parents, other relatives, or friends. You want to pick trusted previous or current coworkers, managers, or clients that will say positive things about their experiences with you and the value you provided.
Once you’ve narrowed down the people, you need to reach out to them to see if they would be willing to even give you a recommendation and speak about your work with potential employers. I cannot stress this enough, do not, and I mean DO NOT, share people’s information without getting their approval first. If they consent, gather their most up-to-date contact information and share the type of role you’re looking for or the job description and a copy of your current resume.
Instead of taking up space by listing your references on your resume, I suggest you create a references document, formatted similarly to your resume. This document would house all of your contact’s names, job titles, their relation to you, email addresses, and phone numbers. This way, when a potential employer asks you to provide references, you have everything ready to go, and you don’t need to scramble.
Finally, don’t forget to thank your references for helping you advance your career!
This tip is brought to you by Tristan of Layfield Resume Consulting. Check us out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @layfieldresume, or connect with me, Tristan Layfield, on LinkedIn.