Are you currently looking for a new job? The opinion of professional references can make the difference in an employer choosing you over your competition. The key is to select references that know the value and quality of your past work and who want to see you succeed in your career. For this reason, you’ll want to be very careful in your reference selection. You can do this by following a few steps.

Seven things to consider when choosing professional references

Each reference you select should:

  • Be someone you trust to give you a good recommendation. This should go without saying, but you must be 100 percent sure that your reference has your best interests in mind and will be willing to praise you and your accomplishments. For this reason, you should review your reference list when it comes time to apply for a new job and make any changes, if you need to.
  • Be someone who has worked with you within the past 1-2 years. This will keep your most recent accomplishments fresh in your reference’s mind.
  • Have a clear understanding of your skills, experience and job strengths. Your reference should be able to communicate what you’ve done and what you’re good at. If you need to, you can always brief your reference on any new roles or responsibilities they may need to be aware of.
  • Have a current copy of your resume. When you’re preparing for your interview, send a copy of your current resume to your references to have on hand in the case they are contacted by a hiring manager. This can also help them brush up on what you’re all about.
  • Be able to think fast if they need to. For the most part, your references will be prepared to say great things about you. But a hiring manager will have plenty of questions and your references should be able to think fast on their feet, if need be.
  • Possibly not be someone with whom you currently work. If you are trying to keep your job search confidential, it may be risky to use a reference at your current place of employment. In this case, you may want to reach out to colleagues or contacts outside your company to serve as professional references.

Keep your references prepared

If you plan to or have recently gone to a job interview, contact all your references to prepare them for a potential call from the hiring manager. This is a common courtesy that will help avoid your references being caught off guard. It also helps you maintain your professionalism and helps ensure your references will remember all the great things they know about you.

If you’re looking for a new job, contact McGrath Systems

Once you have your resume and references in order, you can reach out to McGrath Systems to begin your job search. Our experienced recruiters will work with you for placement in the fields of engineering, information technology, administration, human resources and marketing, with a special emphasis on licensed insurance agents. To learn more, contact McGrath Systems today.

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