Job seekers usually fail to notice the importance of job references, considering it as an afterthought. Yeah, sure the hardest part of getting the job is done and you have been shortlisted and are now the part of “final five” (or four or…), but that is almost over.
But you are underestimating the power of references, which could turn out to be not-so-sweet and may cost you the job offer. Candidates presume that their job references will always display them as “The One” or “The Perfect Fit”, but that’s not the case, not all the time.
Even when you have followed all the steps of “How to land a great job”, you may fall short of the job offer if your references don’t say good things about you. You might be thinking that your reference will say all the sparkling things about you, which will get you the job. Everyone thinks the same, but almost 50% of the references don’t mention things that might be favorable to the candidate.
As job references can make or break opportunities for your career, you have to make sure that they say good things about you whenever a prospective employer calls. Here are some things that you need to consider:
Give recent references
Instead of listing out the awesome people who are really nice to you as your references, list out someone from your current or recent job. Your high-school professor is really sweet, but he won’t know how you deal in the corporate world. So it is better to list out your last manager, or a senior colleague, who knows you well. The last thing you want to hear from references is “I’m not sure if I know that person” or “Wait, who?” when the employer calls.
Take their permission before listing them
You should call your references and take their permission before mentioning them as your reference. It is better to ask them the convenient time when the employers can call. You have to fill them in with the details so that they know exactly what to mention when the employer calls.
Customize your reference list
You have to make a list of people whom you can mention as your reference so that the same people are not called frequently. Customize the list according to the company that you are applying for and keep on shuffling the names on the resume so that people don’t get annoyed of attending calls from all the companies that you have applied for.