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Peter's Blog - Job Search and all that Jazz!
Peter's Blog; Job Search and all that Jazz
Series 4113 Number 1- Tips on dealing with references! *

We have seen many times where a candidate was right on the brink of landing a great job when all negotiations and discussion came to a screaming halt. Frustration and disappointment sets in as the candidate tries to figure out what went wrong. If he could, he might find out that a remark or innuendo from one of his references or an unlisted person cooked his goose. While we cannot always redo the past with respect to relationships, we can make a serious attempt to coach potential references so that they know how to help your campaign.

Here are some tips for the job-seeker to consider before hitting the networking trail:

1. Prepare a great resume that highlights all your skills through accomplishments.
2. Make a list of each of your references from all the positions you have had and be sure the list includes people who can attest to your accomplishments.
3. If your reference is within driving distance, get out and see him face-to-face. References that are too far away must be approached by phone and e-mail.
4. Prepare in advance the kind of questions the reference is likely to get, so you can review his responses in advance. Be sure to pick the tough questions too, like when he is asked to discuss your weaknesses or the reason you are now looking for work.
5. Be sure to bring along a resume for him with the accomplishments you want emphasized in bold so he won't forget that those are your preferred.
6. Make arrangements, if you can, to be able to call or e-mail your reference each time you give out his name, so he will be expecting a call from that person or company.
7. Get his agreement that he will let you know he was approached and how the discussion went.

By following the above guidelines, you will take the surprise out of having a reference start to editorialize about you in the wrong direction. Remember, the best any reference can do for you is to certify that your accomplishments are for real and you have done what you claim.

  • For free leads on thousands of jobs, advice and money-saving tools, be sure to check out the For Job Seekers section of our website.

 

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* For readability, this is a gender-unique document.
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