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Best Practices for Identifying Excellent References for Your Job Search

Are Your References Available on Request? Best Practices for Identifying Excellent References

If you’ve had your resume prepared professionally by a reputable resume writing service, you’re probably preparing for the interview for a job you truly want. Congratulations! Make sure that your interview kit is ready to go with a properly fashioned reference sheet.

First, Do Not Waste Valuable Resume Real Estate

You have about two pages of resume real estate to convey your superior qualifications. Don’t waste that space with a comment that your references are available on request. The interviewer knows that, human resources knows that, and you know that. Instead, take the time to provide more details about your amazing accomplishments, expertise, knowledge, skills, certifications-anything but the trite “references available upon request.” Instead, make sure that you have prepared for your interview and brought with you all the items you will need to make it a success, such as extra copies of your resume-and a properly formatted reference sheet ready to go.

Your Interview Kit Includes a Prepared Reference Sheet

When you get the call for the interview, you need to source several references whom you know will provide prospective hiring managers with a glowing review of your competencies. You can choose to ask former managers, who will know your strengths first hand. But don’t neglect other potential reference opportunities, such as customers, colleagues, and, if you’re a recent graduate, professors who directed your studies. Each of these can serve as excellent sources of positive comments that will enhance your presentation in your job search.

Ask Your References Ahead of Time

It’s critical that you call your prospective references ahead of your interview to request the use of their contact information.

First, you want to be sure that the person is available to serve as your reference. In other words, you want to make sure that the person will agree she or he has only good things to say about your experience and performance.

Second, you want to prepare the references for the types of questions they can expect from your prospective hiring manager. Tell the references about your potential job, and emphasize to them the skills you would like them to emphasize. It will help these people, who might not have worked with you for some time, to know what will likely impress the hiring manager.

Last, nobody wants to have a call for a reference check sprung on them unannounced. An unannounced call will catch them unprepared to say the most important, positive, and helpful things about you-and might actually annoy them to the point that they don’t want to say anything about you at all.

Visit OlympusResumes.com to get your reference worksheet–it’s a critical part of your job search package.

I’m Amy L. Adler, MBA, MA, CARW, Career Search Strategist. Visit me at http://olympusresumes.com/about-us/ to learn how you can propel your job search with a resume package that gets interviews without breaking the bank.