Job Search Marketing Toolkit – References

ToolkitIt takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it” – Benjamin Franklin

Okay, so you’ve done all of the hard stuff. You updated your resume, applied to countless jobs, went on almost countless interviews and now it’s paid off – you have a job offer pending references. Hopefully you’ve planned in advance and already have your references lined up, but if you don’t it’s not too late to start now.

There are a few things you need to consider when lining up your references, such as:

  • Do you know if they will give you a good reference?
  • Do you have 3-4  people who will do this for you?
  • Do you have all of their information (phone number, email address, etc.)?
  • Did you ask them if they will provide a reference?

Your references can make or break you. They must be representative of your career and social networks. The general rule of thumb is to avoid relatives, but you should definitely leverage “friends of the family”. You also should have a fair representation of peers, subordinates and managers. But wait a minute, there is more to references than just giving a list of names. What happens if they run a reference check on you?  Read on.

  • Resume References – Okay, for one, you need to have a line on your resume that says “references will be provided upon request” (or some nifty sentence like that). This article, by lovetoknow.com, provides background on references, why it’s important, who to list, what information to include and more. On the left hand side of the screen are links to additional articles which will help you with your job search.
  • Free Sample Job Reference Lists for Job-Seekers – Free samples always sounds like a good deal. This link, from Quintcareers.com, provides information on how best to leverage your references, keys to choosing the best references followed by several samples. The samples (both in pdf and html formats) provide examples of how your references should look.
  • The 4 Biggest Myths About Job References – US News & World Report provides this article, which helps dispel some myths about references. A very interesting article, and there are additional links to related information (not the double-underlined ones). So what are some of the myths? Some of the myths are – they will only contact the names you give them, your former employers won’t give a bad reference and there are a few more.
  • Is Your Background Check Ruining Your Job Prospects? – What about checking on yourself? Do you know what stuff might be out there on the World Wide Web? You may think you are clean, but you just never know. This article provides a wealth of information on helping you check your background and fix anything that is wrong.
  • Background Check Yourself? – Sounds like a good idea. The purpose, of course, is to make sure you find out any negative information about yourself first. This particular article is for multiple purposes (like checking your credit), but employers are also on the list. This is likely to cost you something, as I don’t think there are any “free” background check services. So I would save this option for those who are worried something might come up.
  • Employment Background Checks: A Jobseeker’s Guide – This article, by privacyrights.org, is a guide that is specifically written for the job seeker. There are 10 topics covered (such as what is included in a background check, how to prepare for a background check and more). This is a very comprehensive article and includes just about everything you can think of. Again, not sure I would spend too much time on this topic (other than learning the “what’s” and “why’s”) unless you are concerned there is erroneous (or damaging) information about you.

Book Corner – Common Interview Questions: Feel Confident And Answer Them Easily (Happy Job Hunting Series Book 1)[/easyazon_link]

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Good luck in your search,
Joey

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Joey@careeralley.com
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  • Lana

    It is great to have a reference list, but in this day in age it is outdated to write “References Upon Request.” Most employers expect job candidates to have references so the candidate is better off having a reference list ready, that can be given to the potential employer when asked.

  • CareerAlley

    Lana,

    Thanks for the comment. I agree, you should have your list of references ready, but you may use different references depending on the job opportunity (which of your references know which specifics about different aspects of you career?). Additionally, even though you’ve (hopefully) asked each of your references if it is okay to use their names, you will still want to give them a heads-up once you’ve given their name.