How to get glowing references


We all know how important it is to write keyword-optimized resumes, or to interview like a pro. But very few among us know how to make sure our reference checks come out nice, clean, and sparkling.

Employers almost always rely on these as part of their hiring decision.

Where reference checks can either make or break your application, leveraging them can be an amazing way for future bosses to further confirm that they are indeed making the right choice in selecting you for the job.

Hence, you want to make sure you are already practicing these tips.

For starters, don’t burn any bridges when leaving a company to go someplace else.

The world is a tiny place and word always gets around. Make sure you do a smooth and clean handover so you are leaving your boss and the company on extremely good terms.

Next, beware the backdoor reference – the informal conversation that your future boss may be having with someone you didn’t list as a potential referee but with whom you once worked.

Which is why in general you want to be unfailingly good at any job you do, and nice or at the very least fair to everyone you deal with, internally or externally. The strategy here for scoring great references is to start way before you intend to resign and leave the organization.

Give your referees the heads up way ahead of time so they can collect their thoughts and make time for the call. If a call isn’t possible, would an email or face-to-face chat work better?

Either way, exploring your referees’ availability ahead of time is a polite way to acknowledge that their time is more important than yours or your future employers.


Finally, ask purposefully.

When reaching out to your referees, be incredibly specific about the kind of role for which you’re being considered, and why you are so excited about this opportunity or what it would mean to you to get this job.

When asking, you also want to provide gentle reminders of when you stood out from the pack, made an impactful contribution to the team project, or significantly grew the bottom line. Referencing your CV could be useful in this respect.

9 out of 10 times referees don’t give awful recommendations, but rarely are they able to summon up specific examples of how stellar you were in your role or your key results and achievements.

Help your referees out by offering these ideas and once again, emphasizing why these contributions matter for your new role.

Now that you know exactly how to land an awesome recommendation from your referees, learn more about brilliant salary negotiation tactics that top candidates have used to double their initial offer.


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