Security Seals
Connect with Peggy McKee on LinkedIn
Follow Peggy McKee on Twitter
Become a fan of Career Confidential on FaceBook
Subscribe to the Career Confidential YouTube channel


Archive for the ‘References’ Category

Who Should You Choose to Use for References?

ERin-K-ReferencesJob references can be an important part of the interviewing process. While it’s no longer necessary to include them when writing a professional resume, you should still be ready with a list of people potential employers can contact. Choosing the right individuals can make a difference in your C-level personal branding, allowing you to make a great impression.

A Recent Boss

It may be tempting to list the boss from your first job because he felt you did a great job and appreciated your work ethic, but depending on how long it’s been, he may no longer remember you well enough to give a good reference. Choosing a more recent boss is your best option. If you choose not to include your current boss, be ready to explain why, even if you simply don’t want him to know you are looking for a new job.

Have you thought about your references lately?

phone callEven if you are not currently in a job search, you should be aware of who you would use as a reference if necessary.  References are not an afterthought--they can play a key role in whether or not you get a job offer.

It's human nature to want recommendations / comments / thoughts from others before you make a big move (I bet it hasn't been that long since you looked at TripAdvisor, Yelp, or Amazon reviews).  Hiring you is a very big deal for companies.  They don't want to make a mistake, and they call your references more than you may have known about before now. do you maintain a good pool of references to draw on when you need them?


What Will Your Job References Say About You? Don't Mention THIS In Your Interview

mistakeYour job references can make or break your chances of getting hired. Even if you have good references to call on when you're up for a new job, what you say about them can kill your chances of getting the offer.

You need to know what to say (and what not to say) when the interviewer asks about your references. In the audio below, I talk about a candidate who made a fatal mistake when I asked her about her references.

Listen to this audio to find out what a big references mistake is and how you can avoid it:

For more information, check out this blog post: Job-Winning References: What To Do and What Not To Do

Don’t Ignore Your References

References - Erin KHave you wondered why you didn’t get called in for an interview when the job was a perfect fit? Maybe it was because when they contacted your references, something went wrong. Good references are one of your biggest assets in a job search because they are independent witnesses who testify that your skills and work habits are suitable — that you will be a good fit for that job. But since references are real people, things change.

Choose Your References Carefully

The buddy that you party with every weekend is probably not going to be a good reference about your professionalism, right? Think about who will be an authority in your career search; someone who understands the work involved and who has seen how you work. This means supervisors, professors, and those you have served with as a volunteer.

Look at the reference the way an employer would and think about the type of questions that will be asked:

  • How long have they known you?
  • How have they worked with you?
  • What problems have you had in the workplace?


Rules for References - How to Make Sure Your References Help You Get the Job

References - CopyJob references matter. A great reference can convince a hiring manager on the fence to go ahead and hire you--and a bad one can knock you out of the running fast.

Which references are best?

Past bosses are always at the top of the list of the best references. If your last job situation wasn't great, you might have to get a little more creative to get a good reference. Try asking a high-level client, a colleague, or a manager you didn't directly work for but who knows your work.

Choose and coach a great reference

It's important to choose someone you know thinks a lot of you, who can express themselves well, and who knows about the job you're going for so that they can speak to your strengths.  You need to coach your references.  Tell them about the job you're going for and jog their memory about things you did that are particularly relevant.  You need to give your references a call anyway to let them know they're about to be called for duty.

When you have a lineup of great references, maintain them and keep them ready for action.  Two to three times a year, send regular emails about your career activities.  It's a nice touch to pass on items or bits of news that may be helpful to them.  When you maintain this regular contact, it's never awkward when you call and say, "Hey, I'm interviewing for this job, and they'll probably be calling you."

Thank your references

Always send a thank you note to your references for their service to you and let them know how it all turned out.

See 4 Great Networking Tips to show you what to say during those contacts and help you maintain your network.

Job-Winning References: What to Do, and What Not to Do

ReferencesA great reference can make a huge difference in your job search success.  For instance, I once had a great candidate that my client company was not excited about.  The candidate perceived that there was a roadblock and had one of his references call me to proactively tell me about this candidate.  That is impressive.  And that is what gets you the job.

What not to do with your references:

1. Don’t give the recruiter or your potential employer a reference who can hardly remember you, or who can't be relied on to call back.

2. Don’t use your college roommate or best friend as a reference. I want a work reference...a relevant reference...a GREAT reference.

What to do for great references that will help you get hired: