The Importance of References

You're on the short-list! But what's going to make you stand out?

It's standard practice for hiring managers to follow-up references; and while the way in which this is done differs according to the type of job (temporary or permanent), the level of job (supervisory vs senior manager) and the industry norms (e.g. security & social care) there are some basics you must have in place.

Properly identify the right references to support your job application.

Put yourself in the hiring manager's shoes and think about the people they want to speak to in organisations you've previously worked, e.g. similar industry, job title, seniority, etc. 

Communicate with your references.

Firstly, calling each previous employer you plan to use and ask for permission to use their name as a reference. Have a discussion with them about the role you're applying for and ask if they could share with you what they plan to say about you. Secondly, as you progress to the next stage in your job application keep your referees in the loop and let them know when your potential new employer might be contacting them. Thirdly, once you've started in your new position call or email your references to say thank-you. 

Avoid the Social Media trap.

Remove potentially embarrassing content from social media sites. Potential employers are more likely to check informal sources of information like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Use social media more intentionally to both create a professional identity and to bring out your personality and non-work interests.