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The Do’s and Don’ts to Nail Employment References

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One of the power hitters during the hiring process which every job applicant should not downplay is employment references.

Employers typically check an employment reference of prospective employees to validate their resume details and claims to help them gauge whether or not the candidate is a good fit for the job and overall, the company.

For job applicants therefore, employment references can make or break the final decision of hiring managers to hire you. Hence, it is important to see to it that your employment referencing works for you and not against you.

Dos and Don’ts to Keep in Mind When It Comes to Employment References

As the competition in the job market gets tough, employers want to make sure the people they hire are real assets to the company. This being said, companies are leveraging their hiring processes and many of them consider employment references as a valuable tool in assessing a job candidate. Moreover, with the rise of online employment reference checking, companies now have a better way to gather employment reference data.

To ensure that your job references will give you positive feedback and a good recommendation, here are some employment references do’s and don’ts to consider:

  1. Do remember that employee references matter so expect that employers (especially the reputable companies) will check and scrutinise your job references.
  2. Don’t automatically assume that you will always get great references even if you think you’ve done well enough in your previous job.
  3. Do choose your references carefully. Don’t just write down names of people for the sake of having a job reference. Choose references who have direct knowledge about your performances on the job or those who have had a close working relationship with you. Aside from your immediate supervisor you can include your work colleagues, subordinates, and previous customers or suppliers.
  4. Do not use your relatives, neighbours or close friends as references. Companies need objective information and these people don’t have useful knowledge of your job performance and companies obviously know this.
  5. Before providing your employment references, see to it that you let your references know and ask for their permission first. Take time to confirm their contact information or current positions and ask them nicely how they would prefer to be contacted by your prospective employer.
  6. Let your references know that they might be receiving a call from the company you are applying for and you’ll appreciate their time in returning the company’s call.
  7. Do help your references by making it easy for them to help you. Provide them brief information about the job you are applying for or perhaps refresh their memories of your positive contribution to the company in the past.
  8. Be sure to follow up with your references especially if you have applied for several companies to check whether or not they’re tired or perhaps annoyed by calls from your prospective employers.
  9. Don’t forget to thank your references. Show your gratitude to the employment references who have helped you. Letting them know about the outcome of your job search is one way of showing your appreciation and making them feel that they have been truly part of your career journey. This can further help maintain a good relationship with them. Remember, you’ll never know when you may be needing their help again.

About the author: James Fall is Head of Global Growth at #HrTech company RefNow. RefNow’s Online Employment referencing solution is changing the lives of HR professionals across the globe with their revolutionary referencing system. You can try RefNow free here: