Monthly Archives: March 2011

…Don’t take references for granted

Most employers will ask you to give them three or four people as references and specify the relationship you had with those people. Some employers are going to ask you for specific people, like previous supervisors, customers, or maybe peers… be sure you’re prepared to provide these different kinds of references when asked.

As you begin your job search, it is a good idea to think about who you might give as a reference in just about any interviewing process… I would recommend calling those people to let them know you’re actively looking for a position, and ask their permission to use them as a reference… it is very rare, but I’ve seen situations where the people who candidates thought would be a reference for them refused to do it… after they give you permission, inform them you will let them know who might be checking your reference, what kind of position it is, and exactly what in your background he should emphasize when the reference is checked…

…references

I’m going to try to be more consistent in writing… I’ve been editing the new book Unbeatable Resumes… And started writing the second version of The Job Search Solution…

I’ve received a number of e-mails asking me why I haven’t written in so long…

I want to spend a few blogs talking about employment references… people take these for granted and at least once a week I personally run into a challenge with them… either the candidate doesn’t prepare his or her references, provides the wrong kind of references or gets people as references who end up costing him or her the job… so, if you’re looking for a job you need to know about your references… pay attention.

Hiring authorities rely more on previous employment references than they ever have… an even mediocre reference can kill a potential job opportunity… If you’re the kind of candidate who has excellent references from everyone you have ever worked for, you probably don’t need to pay attention to what I’m writing… it may not hurt to read it because some of the logistical ideas are of value, but you may not need much help.

One of the most shocking surprises anyone can ever have is the experience of assuming all your references are excellent, only to find out that one or more of them cost you a job opportunity… I estimate at least 20 to 25% of the jobseeking candidates out there had at least one reference challenge in their background… and they have absolutely no idea it is there…

This may come as a surprize, but except in instances of disclosing acts of violence or acts of financial mismanagement, companies are not legally required to provide any kind of reference about previous employees… companies may be subject to a charge of defamation by giving a reference that can be construed as bad and they have absolutely nothing to gain by giving any kind of a reference good or bad… so any kind of reference an organization will provide goes beyond what they have to do…

Companies will usually verify dates of employment, earnings and confirm if a person is eligible for rehire in the eyes of the company… but there is nothing that says they have to do any of this… many companies will not even respond to references solicited over the phone… they require a written request for most references and only respond to those requests in writing…

Most perspective employers are going to ask you for specific references from the most recent jobs you had… even in situations where you know the previous quarter is not going to provide an adequate reference.  It is going to be difficult to find someone within the company who can speak of your performance if it’s against the policies of the company and this poses a tremendous difficulty for many candidates…