Professional Reference Guide For job Seekers

Posted on 01/11 by Erin Helms

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You need to have so many things prepared when applying for a new job or looking to change your career. You need to make sure your resume is up-to-date, listing all your pertinent job experience and training, in addition to any certifications you’ve earned. Some employers also might ask for a list of references as part of the application process. It takes employers a lot of time to find a new staff member, from reviewing resumes and applications to scheduling and conducting interviews and checking references is a good, easy way for them to reach out and validate whether someone is as strong a candidate as they seem. But what makes a good reference? Who should you ask? What will they need to know? LaborMax is here to help demystify professional references.

What IS a Professional Reference?

A professional reference is someone who can speak to your actions and track record as an employee, who can fill in the blanks on what your jobs have been and which tasks you’ve been asked to do in the past. The best person to be a professional reference is a former manager or supervisor (or your current one, depending on your situation and why you’re looking for a new job). Managers can speak to each other about the things that matter most when looking for a new hire, and yours will know exactly which of your attributes to talk about as your strong points.

Why Do Employers Want References?

The hiring process is an arduous one, very time-consuming and all they have to go on is what a person tells the manager about themself. Think of references as a kind of fact-check for candidates: Someone in the position of hiring someone new wants to know that they’re getting what they expect in an employee, and the best person to ask is someone who used to work with a candidate. They want to know if this job candidate -- you, in this case -- is reliable, trustworthy, a hard worker, someone who will come in on time and do what they’re asked. They want to know who you are as a person as well as an employee so they can get a sense of whether you’ll be a good fit for their team. It’s a way to weed out people who have problems with listening to managerial authority, or who pick fights or don’t get along well with coworkers, as well as eliminating from consideration anyone who might have oversold their qualifications and abilities.

When Are References Usually Requested?

Most hiring managers will ask for references late in the interview process, when they’re down to the last few candidates to pick among for the job. If you’re being asked to provide references, congratulations! You’re still in the running and are considered a good fit. Some companies might ask for them at the start of the application process, however, but they might never need them. Still, it’s a good idea to have a list of professional references ready and on hand when you start to look for a new job so you can provide them quickly when asked.

How Do I Ask Someone To Be A Reference?

The best people to ask for references are managers and supervisors with whom you got along well and worked closely. You want someone who can talk about you sincerely and, at length, be able to provide specific details about you as an employee and a worker in general. The more recently you’ve worked with someone, the better — if your supervisor has recently left the job where you worked together, that’s a great place to start; if you’re looking for a new position because there’s been a staffing change at your company and you’ve been laid off, your current supervisor or manager might be eager to help you out by singing your praises. The best way to ask someone to be a reference is simple and straightforward: Let them know you’re looking for a new job and tell them a little about it, then ask if they’d be willing to speak on your behalf in a short call or via email. If they agree, let them know who might be calling and what that person’s title is in relation to your potential new job and, if possible, tell them when they can expect to be reached. Be sure to send a written thank you note, or maybe get them a coffee or other treat, in appreciation for their kindness and time. References are an important way to help you stand out from other candidates when you’re looking for a job. Someone speaking strongly on your behalf can help persuade the hiring manager that you are the best candidate for a job, especially if all candidates have similar backgrounds, work experience, training and qualifications. Choose wisely and always say thank you!

LaborMAX Wants To Put You Back To Work

If you’re looking for other career advice or maybe want to find other possible job opportunities in your industry, call LaborMax. We always have new job openings available and we can tell you exactly what our candidates are looking for -- and whether they want references as part of the application process. We can help you find a new job fast, too! Call LaborMax today and let’s get started.

Tagged: #BellinghamTempjobs #AllentownJobsHiring #TempWorkNewport #DayLaborJobs

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