Thursday, January 30, 2014

Reference Request!

Today, a trio of links on how to get those all-important references. Whether you need folks who are willing to field phone calls from your prospective employers, or whether you need written material to add to a dossier or sent to an employer or grad school, there are some basics you should know about.

After all--you have written your cover letter and resume. You are applying and interviewing. And you aren't going to shoot yourself in the foot and say anything less than complimentary about yourself.

Employers will check your references to make sure you have the skills, the attitude, the aptitude to do a job well. Anyone can look great on paper, or even in person. But what others say about you can help employers make up their minds about whether you are worth the effort of hiring, training and retaining.

Some basics (which you'll find covered in more depth in the above links):
  • Choose a team; get a wide-angle set of perspectives on who you are and what you can do.
  • Communicate with those preparing the reference. Remind your referee of the great things they will be able to recall about you. Supply information on where and when reference requests will arrive, or should be sent.
  • Discuss the particulars of what you want your reference to say. "He/She is a great person" is too generic; it's called "damning by faint praise."
  • Follow through. If your referee cares enough to recommend you, then he or she is rooting for you and will be gratified by your success.

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