by Kathy Sweeney, NCRW, CPRW, CEIC, CCM
When clients use our service they
always ask us about references. Who they should include, how
many people should be on their list of references and when
they should present this information to the employer. There
are some strict rules you should follow in regard to references.
First, there are certain
people you should include and others that you should not.
The people to include are family friends, people that are
in important positions in the industry you are applying in,
clients whose accounts you have serviced and professors from
college if you are a recent graduate.
Do not include previous
employers because, by law, they are not allowed to give opinions
on your work performance. If you would like to obtain a letter
of recommendation from them, by all means, have them write
one. An unsolicited letter is a different story.
I usually suggest to my
clients that they include at least 3 individuals on their
reference sheet. The maximum I would suggest would be five.
Odds are the prospective employer is only going to contact
I also suggest that you
provide the people on your reference list with a copy of your
resume for their information. This helps when the prospective
employer calls them, they can have your information right
in front of them.
When is the appropriate
time to present the reference sheet? We advise our clients
not to send it with their resume. You don't want the employer
contacting your references before they contact you.
Provide the list of references
at the end of your interview, when you feel the employer has
an interest in you and you have an interest in them!
Place it on the table in
front of the employer with your name facing them and say,
"Here is a list of my references. Feel free to call any one
of them if you should require more information. I'm sure they
would be happy to answer any of your questions."
This gives you a broad overview
of references and why they are so important. You should always
present yourself asa complete, professional package. Having
all the tools necessary will ensure you feel more confident
in your job search.
Need a reference page
typed? Not sure what information to include? For a nominal
fee, The Write Resume can prepare one for you! Order
today or call us at 1-866-726-9052!
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