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References

The Dos and Don’ts of a Winning Reference List

References

When it comes to adding references, you should pay a lot more attention to it than most people normally do. References can make or break your chances of getting a job, and if they do, you normally won’t know who or what they said to change a prospective company’s mind… So, the best way to avoid this is by choosing the right references. And if you follow these Dos and Don’ts, you’ll be able to almost guarantee that your references won’t hurt your chances of getting the job!

DO – Ask for permission

When adding someone to your reference list, you want to ensure you’re asking for permission. Especially, if it’s been a while since you needed references, reminding them and asking if it’s okay will help you get the best response. And make sure you have their right contact information as well as helping them be prepared for calls.

DON’T – Assume someone will say yes

Just because someone has let you use them as a reference before doesn’t mean they’re okay with it now. Time passes, and other people come and go in different positions. So, it’s very important that you never assume it’s a yes.

DO – Have a list of references before applying to jobs

Doing your due diligence before applying to a new job is only going to help you be prepared. If a company asks for references, it’s a lot easier to just send a list you have ready. Instead of having to scramble for the best ones to send. Being prepared will always keep you a step ahead and more likely to get the position.

DON’T – Wait until the last minute to ask for a reference

Waiting only leaves you in a vulnerable position. This can affect whether you find great references or good ones. And this small difference could change the opportunity of you getting the job or not. Even though some people like to think these details aren’t as important, having a great reference compared to only a good one could really affect a company’s decision about you.

DO – Update your list as often as you can

Especially, when you’re receiving promotions or have moved companies. In these situations, you’re working and collaborating with different people that would probably love to be a part of your reference list. So updating it when you can is beneficial.

DON’T – Provide a reference list until asked

There is no need to put a reference list on a resume when you’re first applying for a position. You first want the company to think you’re a good fit. And, if you’re working with a recruiter, you may not want another company calling your references before speaking with you. (Because you may still be working with people on your list and you may not be ready for them to know you’re looking). There are lots of reasons we say wait, but this way you don’t get sabotaged in any way and it helps companies really be interested in you first.

DO – Add Professional’s

Make sure all your references are from a professional nature. And having them from different jobs or volunteer commitments just helps show that you’re a great person to work with and you go over and beyond in all your endeavors.

DON’T – Add Your Mom, Grandma, or any family

I hope that you all can say you’d get raving reviews from family members. So, your references should not include them. Your family is here to support you on your journey, but this is probably one thing we’d recommend they aren’t helping you out on.

These Do’s and Don’ts should keep you prepared with great references that will help you land the job you’re working so hard to get. And now you know everything that will make you achieve a winning reference list!

Job Application Mishaps That Could Get You Fired Before You’re Even Hired

Maybe you haven’t had to apply for a new job in a while, so you’re going over everything. Resume, Cover letter, what you will write in your application. But you also need to make sure you do NOT make one of these mistakes that’ll end up getting you fired before you’re even hired!

Grammar/Spelling Mistakes

Some people think this isn’t a big deal and that hiring managers will just look over it. Because come on, it’s just some grammar and spelling mistakes, right? Well, actually, wrong! If you’re not even willing to double check your application materials, a hiring manager will think you don’t care enough about the position. This will most likely end with your application being put in the, “do not contact list” and you never hearing back.

Double checking everything you write when you are filling out an application will ensure that you get seen and hopefully offered an interview. The last thing you want to happen is to be skipped over when you have great skills to be successful in the position.

Lying on your Resume

This is obviously a no-go… And there is a difference between making yourself look good over flagrantly lying. When editing your resume and cover letter, it’s important to incorporate keywords and activities you’ve accomplished relating to the position. But do not add things you haven’t done. Do not add experience you don’t have. They will figure it out. And whether that is during an interview or after you’re hired, you will get fired.

So, don’t lie. Even if you feel your experience isn’t where they want it. If they like who YOU are, they can help you get to where they want you to be. Never risk losing a job because you’re afraid you won’t get it in the first place. You just end up shooting yourself in the foot and leaving a terrible taste in that hiring manager’s mouth.

Bad References

When you write down references make sure they are aware and willing to help give you one in the first place. Having a hiring manager calling someone who hasn’t worked with you in years isn’t the way to go. Especially, if you haven’t told them that you put them down.

Companies do call your references and it could tank or make you landing the job… So find people who have good experiences working with you. Update them on the fact that you’re looking for a new position and would love to put them down as someone to contact. Update your list as necessary! This way when hiring managers contact them, you know they will help you land the job, not lose it.

Bad Mouthing an Old Employer

When you’re lucky enough to be called in for an interview, you will be asked about why you want to leave your current company. A lot of people find this question stressful. But really, it’s simple. If you stay positive and talk about what you learned and how leaving is what’s going to help you grow, it makes you look confident and optimistic. Which in turn, makes every company want to work with you.

If you decide to bad mouth your current company it starts to look like you’re the problem. The hiring managers will not want to hire you. Even if these problems at your current employer are real and terrible. Every position you hold will have people you don’t like. But people want to see that you can work with these hard characters and still be productive.

Bad mouthing your previous/current company is a sure way to be fired before you ever get the chance to be hired. And when you’re looking for jobs and applying for positions you really want, this is not something anyone wants to do. So, make sure you keep these tips in mind so the next interview you get will help you be a sure-hire for the position!