Modern resumes avoid stating the obvious, such as “references on request.” But sometime during the interview process, you will be asked to provide references. You need to prepare for that moment.
Do not rely on your current company or manager to give you a good reference. Many companies, in their fear of lawsuits, have prohibited their Human Resource department and managers from providing details on any employee’s performance.
- Make a list of both personal and professional references from among your friends, coworkers, vendors, suppliers, community contacts (for example, civic leaders), educational contacts (for example, professors) and similar sources. Leave family members off the list. You need a short list of perhaps three personal references and three professional references.
- Make sure the references are comfortable with referring you. Do not assume they are. Verify their contact information and their preferred method of being contacted (for example, some references may not want to receive phone calls at work).
- Give your references plenty of advance notice. A company might contact a reference without notifying you first.
- Send a copy of your resume to each reference person. You want to prepare your references to answer questions and to support you appropriately in the career you have chosen.
- Check out what your references are saying about you; you may be surprised. Be sure they speak positively of you. You can use a company such as Allison & Taylor for checking what folks say about you online.
- Send references a thank you once your job search has ended, whether or not they were contacted by a company. Show your gratitude for their willingness to support your job search.
Like the companies you apply to, your references need a resume that is clear, accurate, and up-to-date and that highlights your achievements. To make sure your resume is fulfilling all those criteria, please email Robin’s Resumes®.