AUTHOR:
Dan A.

DATE:
June 28, 2016

CATEGORIES:
Success from the Start

READING TIME:
2 minutes

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Finding (and Keeping) References for Your Job Search

AUTHOR:
Dan A.

DATE:
June 28, 2016

CATEGORIES:
Success from the Start

READING TIME:
2 minutes

In most job interview processes, you will be asked at some point to give references. References are a way for employers to get an idea of how candidates will perform in a new job. While employers can get information from your interview, references give them a second opinion.

Here are some tips for choosing and maintaining impactful references.

Find people who can speak for you professionally.

The most useful references for a job are those who can speak to your work ethic and professionalism. Your best friend may know your every secret, but he probably doesn’t know what you are like in a professional environment.

Former managers are some of the best references you can have. They have most likely seen you grow with a position, and often have a good view of your strengths and weaknesses. Overall, you want someone who can give a realistic, but overall positive view of you as a worker.

If you haven’t had many managers and are coming straight out of school, professors can provide similar references. Talk to professors who you have had multiple classes with or have served as your mentor or advisor.

Go to people who have a relationship with the company.

People who already work with the company you are applying to can be a great reference. Many times, if a person inside the company can advocate for you, it adds appeal to you as a candidate.

Many companies, including Reynolds, have an employee referral program. This program rewards current employees that help the company find new people to join the team. Many times, the people who are referred fit in well because someone who already knows the company recommended them.

If you know of someone who works at the company already, reach out to see if the person can pass your name along.

Give your references a heads up.

Before you hand over contact information, make sure your references know companies may be contacting them. It’s a good idea to give your references a refresher on your qualifications for a position, and some general information about what you had done for them. This is particularly helpful with professors, as you can remind them of your previous courses and projects.

That heads up will help your references be aware of what has been going on when the recruiter calls them.

Keep in touch.

While your references are great when you’re actively searching for a job, it’s a good idea to keep up with them afterwards. Reaching out occasionally after you’ve started your job can help keep them aware of how your career has been progressing.

Occasionally, your references may be a great way of finding new opportunities for your career. By keeping in touch, they may reach out to you when they see something they feel will be a good fit. As a plus, you never know when you will need to call upon your references again for your next job search.

By using these tips, you can be prepared to provide references during your job search, as well as keep connections for the long term.


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Dan A.

Dan is a Corporate Recruiter in Dayton, Ohio. He studied Organizational Leadership at Wright State University, and is our expert on life at Reynolds and how to make yourself stand out in applications. Dan enjoys participating in a recreational basketball league, following the Bengals and Buckeyes, and playing in the company cornhole league.