You had a successful interview and then the employer asks for your job references. If your references provide great responses about you, you are closer to getting a job offer. So, how can you make sure that your references help you seal the deal and land the position? Here are some tips to help you.
• Professional contacts are best. Although your family members and close friends will talk highly about your assets and make you sound wonderful to any employer, professional contacts are the best references. Whether it is a former supervisor, a co-worker, mentor or former teacher, these people know your professional skills the best. Also, employers would prefer to hear from people who know you professionally rather than on a personal level.
• Keep in contact with your references. In an article on U.S. News and World Report’s web site, the writer mentions how previous bosses are the most important references and employers can ask them anything relating to your professional work style. Choose references that will say great things about you as an employee. You should definitely keep in contact with your references and make sure that they have an updated version of your resume.
• Be careful about choosing your “personal” reference. Most employers want two professional references and one personal reference. A personal reference knows you on a personal level but can still talk about your professional success. For example, your neighbor may be your personal reference. If your neighbor can talk about your skills, he or she can still make a great reference for you.
• Thank your references. After you land the job, reach out to your references by calling and thanking them for helping you. Also, sending a little gratitude gift such as flowers or a fruit basket is a great way to let your references know that you appreciate them.
Source: U.S. News and World Report