Importance of Checking Your References

By Brian Pho | November 14, 2022 | Recruitment Process

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Your job hunt is like a marketing campaign, and your resume, cover letter, and online presence should be your main advertisements. But what does a consumer do when they stumble across an advertising campaign? Consumers check the testimonials and look at the social presence to back up the claims of the advertiser. It’s the same thing for your references. When recruiters are checking your references, they’re checking that they back up the claims you make in your resume and cover letter.

Since references are so important, selecting your references can be more challenging than you think. Even tiny mistakes could ruin your luck for the job. We are going to list out a few errors that you can avoid while giving out references.

Giving Out False References

Some applicants think having many people as their references will help with their job application, but that won’t matter if the connections aren’t legit. You will need people who know you from your recent or previous job(s). The more suitable and credible people you select as your references, the better.

Students and recent graduates who lack work experience can ask their teachers, professors, parents, mentors, or supervisors from their volunteer work to be their references.

Look Up Your References

When you decide who you want to be your reference, you should check your references by doing a quick Google search on them. Checking your references allows you to see if there is anything negative that you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see. If you find some questionable content, then maybe they shouldn’t be a reference. Their social presence might reflect badly on you and leave a bad first impression.  

Giving Out The Reference List

Preserving your references is crucial. Don’t give out your reference list until asked. The best approach is to present one or two references most suitable for the position you’ve applied for. If the recruiter requests more connections or makes a specific request – such as wanting to communicate with your recent supervisor – you can reply accordingly. Otherwise, a letter of reference should be sufficient.

Reaching Out to References

When a recruiter is checking your references, make sure it’s as easy as possible for the recruiter. You can provide an approved phone number and email address for each reference. 

Please do not leave it up to the employer to find the details themselves. They may think the effort’s not worth it or might find it suspicious. Plus, it leaves a bad first impression.

Failing to Alert References

After completing 4-5 steps in your job search campaign, update your references on your situation. If you think the employer might contact them soon, alert the individuals who will be reached. See if they have any questions or remarks. They’re probably busy with their work, so remind them.

Overusing Your References

“Reference burnout” is a term used to describe the situation in which an employer has frequently contacted your references. It can occur when you’re going on interviews with multiple employers. The longer your job hunt goes, the more likely you’ll have this problem. 

To control this, you should have a few backup references. Consider rotating the connections you use occasionally. Remember that as a reference speaks up for you more than a couple of times, they may start wondering why you haven’t found an appropriate job yet. 

If you are a job seeker seeking guidance on the recruitment process, then reach out to Brian Pho. He specializes in Engineering, Technical Management and Sales for manufacturing clients within Canada. He is one of the oldest and most trusted recruiter networks operating within Canada.

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