They may be personal or professional. The personal ones can speak to your stability and character. On the professional side, references should address your qualifications to handle the job. A combination of both types is first prize.
There are seven career tips that will help you make sure your reference assets work to your advantage in your search for a job.
1. Get references only from those who are familiar with you and your record.
2. Never take for granted that a reference will be positive. Get approval from each one, no matter how solid you may think the relationship is, so that the referring person can be prepared to speak for you from first hand knowledge. The last thing you want is for a reference to be caught off guard. This contact is best made with a face-to-face meeting.
3. Bring the potential reference up to speed on your job status. Detail the history of your career. Explain the reasons you are looking for a new position. Explain your career goals.
4. Describe in detail the job you are seeking. Ask for career advice, as well as any leads to job opportunities. Never forget, everybody likes to be asked for career counseling.
5. After you secure their assurance of a positive reference, send them a copy of your resume and cover letter. Request their comments. This is a good way to get them involved in your search.
6. Keep references involved in your job search. Request that they notify you when they receive calls from prospective employers. Get their take on the degree of interest the interviewers have in your application and the status of the search.
7. The follow-up is an extremely important part of the process. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement and challenges of a new job so you forget to thank those who provided references. That's a big mistake. Send "thank you" notes for their agreeing to serve as a reference. Keep them posted on the progress of your job search. After you get the job, keep your references up-to-date on the progress you make on your career path.
Never burn your bridges. Remember you may need these references in the future.
Words of Wisdom: "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent." Calvin Coolidge, President of The United States.
I wish you career success!
For more career advice click here: http://www.commonsenseatwork.com to receive The Career Accelerator, Ramon Greenwood's semi-monthly newsletter. You can also participate in his Your Blog For Career Advice via this route. Both provide keys to career success. Greenwood's career counseling comes from a world of experience, including serving as Senior Vice President of American Express, an entrepreneur, professional director, career coach, and author.
© 2009 Ramon Greenwood
The views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of College Central Network, Inc. or its affiliates. Reference to any company, organization, product, or service does not constitute endorsement by College Central Network, Inc., its affiliates or associated companies. The information provided is not intended to replace the advice or guidance of your legal, financial, or medical professional.