Thursday, October 22, 2009

You and Your References

Q: I want to keep my current references (i.e. employer) happy, while looking for something else. What is the best way to make that transition?

A: Hiring managers at other companies understand that you can't allow your current employer to know that you are looking, so they will accept other references - such as former employers, high-level coworkers at your current company, or former clients.

A few other helpful hints on references:
  • Don’t wait until you are on a job search to dig up a reference from years ago. References should be trusted connections, and it’s important to cultivate these relationships over the years – not just when you need something from them. And remember – it’s a two-way street – be sure to take an interest in their careers as well.
  • References are typically requested during the “end game” of the hiring process – and it is an expression that the company is very serious about your candidacy. Therefore, references should NOT appear on your resume.  If you supply them, you won’t have control of when your references are called, and you won’t be able to prep them adequately about any particular position.
  • Typically 3 references are requested – it’s a good idea to have 5 on hand in case someone is unresponsive.
  • If you have a line such as “References furnished upon request” on your resume, remove it. It is a given.
  • Be sure to circle back with your references. If you got the job, let them know, and thank them for being a part of it.

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