In the interview, everyone, including the employer, is on their best behavior. References are a way to see the potential candidate through a third party.
- References need to be able to speak not only about your knowledge and expertise, but also about personal work habits. List potential references and what they can attest to on your behalf. Match appropriate references depending on the position.
- Before providing a reference to an employer, call the reference and ask permission to release their name. Make sure the reference has a copy of your resume, job description, and explain why you are a good fit for the job.
- After the first interview, call or email the reference to alert them to a possible call. Remind the reference why you are a good fit for the job. Also, ask the reference to let you know if they are called. Employers only call references for their top candidates.
If you get the job, call and thank the reference. If you don’t get the job, call and thank the reference. It is a tougher call, but worth it if you want to use them as a reference again.
Barbara Atzmiller, MS, NCC, MCC, DCC, is a career strategist who provides career counseling, coaching, and training services for active professionals. ExpertCareerSolutions.com or 1-888-975-9778.