The Dos and Don’ts of a Winning Reference List
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!