Gone are the days that you list references on your resume. "References available on request" is also a thing of the past. Does this mean that you no longer need to provide references? NO! An employer seriously considering hiring you is going to want to do a little investigative work to learn a little more about you. Calling references is typically how they go about learning more about you.
Reference do's and don'ts
- Old school! Never print reference information on your resumé or cover letter. Upon request from an employer, provide reference information on a separate printed/typed sheet of paper.
- Give a heads up! Always inform a person that you intend to use him or her as a reference before providing contact information.
- When asking to use a person as a reference, make sure you confirm contact information and periodically touch base to see if there have been any changes to phone numbers, e-mail address, title etc.
- It is best to avoid personal references (friends, family) unless specifically requested by an employer. Most of the time, employers are looking for professionals who can reflect on your job skills and performances.
- Obvious! When you are preparing a list of possible references, make sure you are only using people who have positive things to say about you!
- When asking for a reference, use your judgment on whether to ask for a letter of recommendation. In many cases, employers will call your references even if you have provided letters of recommendation.
- If you cannot obtain favorable references from former employers, be truthful with your interviewers about it. Most employers understand that we are not all perfect, and that there are two sides to most stories. Most employers will appreciate your honesty.
I know it is hot, but don't let the heat keep you from attending our free, drop-in re-employment workshops or taking advantage of our resume review services. As a reminder, resume reviews are done by appointment. Simply call me at 540-722-3415 to set up your resume consultation.
Re-employment Workshop schedule for July 12-16, 2010:
Tuesday July 13- 8:30 a.m: Networking Job Club
Tuesday July 13 @ 9:30 a.m.: Mastering the Electronic Job Search
Thursday July 15: Marketing yourself in a highly competitive job market (my favorite!)