Having a list of job references ready for employers helps with your job search. Hiring managers want to know how you benefitted previous organizations and how you can benefit theirs.
Knowing whom to choose and how to ask is important. This helps you share the information the manager is looking for.
Implement these three tips to secure relevant job references.
1. List the Professionals You Worked With
Write down your previous colleagues, managers, supervisors, and coworkers. Then, think about which ones would speak highly of you. They may say something similar to any of the following:
- Your contributions positively reflected on their performance.
- Your work elevated their position in the organization.
- You helped launch a new product or service that led to their promotion.
- You led a project that achieved desirable results.
- Your reliability made their work life easier.
- You regularly made presentations to high-level employees.
- You articulated ideas for decision-makers and overcame objections.
2. Contact Previous Managers
Select from your list up to three former managers or supervisors with different personalities. This shows you effectively get along with diverse employees. It also increases the odds that one will connect well with the hiring manager.
- Call one of the professionals.
- Explain you would like to use them as a job reference.
- Share what you have been doing since you last spoke.
- Mention the job duties and responsibilities.
- Cover the key points of your skills, experience, and qualifications.
- Answer any questions the professional has.
- Follow up with an email including your resume and the job description.
- Thank the professionals for their time.
- Offer to provide a favor when needed.
3. Reach Out to Previous Colleagues
Contact up to three former colleagues or coworkers. Because they worked more directly with you, they may provide a greater perspective of your performance than former managers or supervisors. In addition to following the above guidelines for contacting previous managers, cover the following topics:
- Your professional strengths
- Your memorable contributions
- Your attendance and work habits
- Your ability to work independently or collaboratively
Let your references know when you land a job. Thank them for helping you. Offer to provide a favor when needed.
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