So you’re in the market for a job. From perfecting your CV to honing your interview skills, there’s plenty job-seekers can do to keep themselves busy and improve their chances of securing their dream job.
Part of the job hunt preparation should include getting your references right.
References are a critical component of the recruitment process. They give employers ‘confirmation’ of a potential candidate’s competency and work ethics.
Despite the importance and value of references, referee blunders are not uncommon.
Take a look at the following five common job reference mistakes and how to avoid them.
Avoid putting ‘references available on request’ on your CV
It’s a given fact that references will be available on request and therefore valuable CV space should not be wasted with such an obvious point. Unless a job posting specifically requests references, you should avoid mentioning them on a CV – leave references until when they are required later down the recruitment line.
Failing to keep your references informed
When you give somebody’s name and contact details out as a reference, first and foremost you should ask their permission.
Once they agree to be your reference you should let them know you have applied for a job and they make be contacted in relation to the position.
Think carefully about who you choose as a referee
The whole purpose of providing a potential employer with references is that it works in your favour.
You should therefore think carefully about who you put down as referees. If you think that individual might have any reason to portray you in a negative light, don’t use them as it is likely to cost you the job!
Don’t use references that are too old
Someone who was your boss when you went on work experience at school might be credible and valuable if you’re 17 and looking for a job but not if you’re 37!
Generally speaking, employers want to see references of recent history and if it has been five years or longer since you were in collaboration with that individual, the reference may work against you rather than for you, as it could suggest to an employer that you don’t have anyone to vouch for your reliability and skills in recent times.
Avoid failing to provide all the relevant details of your references
Simply providing a potential employer with the name and phone number of a referee is not sufficient and will go a long in painting you in a negative and careless light.
When handing over your references’ details ensure they include the contact’s full name, their current job title, the company name, business address and contact information, including telephone number, email and mobile number.
And lastly, always thank your references for their help. After all, if you don’t get the job, you’ll be calling upon their assistance again sometime soon.