Job searching and interviewing for jobs is an intense process. There are so many bases to cover, and steps to take to reach your end goal (which is getting a job). So it makes sense that you would want to be as prepared as possible for what will come your way in the hiring process, to avoid any last-minute panic.
Employment reference checks are a standard part of the hiring process at most companies, and it would be huge letdown for any jobseeker to lose a great job opportunity because they weren’t prepared with strong references to back up their work ethic and abilities. But there are numerous things you can do ahead of time to avoid this happening. Here are some tips for taking the stress off of employment reference checks:
1) Choose Your References Carefully
Your references should be people that saw your work accomplishments firsthand, and can speak at length of your strengths. They should be people that you are absolutely sure will speak highly of you. You also want to make sure they are reliable, and can be easily reached by hiring managers for employment reference checks.
2) Have a Variety of References to Choose From
To help you feel more secure, it is wise to have as many references as possible (provided they are good ones) that saw you in different work situations. Not only will this give you more options in case one of your references is unavailable, it also allows you to choose which references are most appropriate for each particular job you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a job that involves dealing with people you want to use references that can attest to your personality and communication abilities. But if you are applying to a more analytical position, choose someone that can back up your strengths with numbers in an employment reference check. Also, don’t hesitate to utilize people other than co-workers and supervisors, such as teachers or employees at organizations you did volunteer work for.
3) Stay in touch with your references
Make it a habit to keep in regular contact with your references. This doesn’t have to take up a lot of your time; you can simply send them a LinkedIn message from time to time, or set up coffee dates once or twice yearly. Keep them apprised of where you are at in your career and make sure they always have the most current copy of your resume. Also, be sure to give them a heads up every time you have applied for a job that is likely to call them for an employment reference check.
4) Always put your best foot forward
Of course, none of the above will even be possible if you don’t have anyone you can ask to be a reference. Your attitude and work ethic now and each day going forward can make or break you entire future. So be as nice as possible to those you come into contact with professionally, and take every opportunity possible to show your talents to others you work with. Also, go out of your way from time to time for your co-workers and supervisors; they will be likely to return the favor for you down the road. This will take the burden of worry off of you when it comes time for an employment reference check.
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