A reference can be the difference between getting a job, and being passed over for someone more qualified.
One individual that was a reference for a sales candidate I had told me that the candidate was very meticulous and showed strong abilities in the laboratory. While this was great information, the same reference could have connected the candidate’s leadership, communication and organizational skills to the position to show how strong of a candidate the individual truly was. This would have made a world of difference!
If you have applied for a position and given the employer your references’ information, call them and tell them that the employer may be calling for a reference. Explain to them the type of job that you are pursuing and what skills the employer is looking for from the potential candidate. It is usually best to ask the reference to contact you once they have spoken with the reference checker so that you know where you stand in the process and gain knowledge on what type of information the reference shared about you. When you contact the reference to prepare them, make sure that you take the time to remind the reference of your skills, background and what tasks you performed for the reference while you were with them. This information is not always readily available as people tend to forget.
Keep in touch with the reference. If you have not spoken with the individual for quite some time, you cannot expect to receive the excellent recommendation that you are hoping for. Continue to build upon your strong relationship with that individual by staying in touch with them regularly. Usually, it is best to call or email your references every four or five months to check in on them and keep in touch. When you do make contact, ask the reference if there is anything that you are able to do for them as well. If you can help them, it increases