Friday 23 November 2012

Choosing Your Referees

Choosing a good referee can make all the difference when it comes to landing the new role. If you choose the wrong person, you might be rejected from jobs that were perfect for you. If you are unsure of their value, referees provide extra information that lets a potential employee know about your work history, your skills and experience, reinforcing what you’ve written on your CV.

Quite simply, someone else’s word that your claims are accurate.
Your referee(s) can also be asked to give an opinion on your character, commenting on factors such as your reliability, punctuality or even your weaknesses so choose carefully.

The best people to be your referees are former employers, especially a mentor or boss, your teacher / lecturer / tutor or maybe, your PhD supervisor or examiner. Do not choose a friend of the family or a neighbour (unless they have specific knowledge of your work). The best references are written by people who know you well, so pick the person you worked most closely with at your last job.
Over recent days, I’ve reached out to two of my previous employers (Trader Media Group & 118118) for such permission.  I had a call this morning from my old MD to say that he’d provided a verbal reference for me earlier today. Obviously it helps if you had a friendly working relationship with them too. Pleased to hear that both have duly obliged and taken the necessary calls.
Choose someone who will write a sympathetic reference and be as positive about you as possible though it’s ALWAYS good etiquette to ask for people’s permission to act as your referee before giving their name to a potential employer.

Some people will act as referee for you for several years. Others might be only suitable when you apply for a particular type of job. Think about what each person can say about you and whether their knowledge of you is relevant to the particular job you’re applying for. While some recruitment consultants suggest providing your referees’ names and contact details at the bottom of your CV, I prefer to add ‘References can be supplied on request’ thus providing an opportunity for you to pick the referees most suitable for the role you’ve applied for.
Most people have two referees however a few jobs ask for three referees so make sure that you have a reserve that you can call on. I’ve done just that, I have a third referee on standby; an old boss.

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