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"What Will Your References Say About You?"

reference checks
What Will Your References Say About You?

You're getting ready to look for that new job. You have updated your resume and practiced answering interview questions. Don't forget about your references! Many applicants think employers no longer check references. The reality is that reference checks were and continue to be a very important part of the hiring process. Don't be caught off guard - start preparing for your reference check now!

Employers Do Verify References
A reference check provides a different point of view about an applicant's work ethic. Previous supervisors and co-workers provide insight into an applicant's good and bad characteristics. A conversation with a reference can also shed light on an applicant's personality in a way that a resume cannot. "An interviewer can be charmed by an applicant, only to find out about a problem at a previous job", says Rosa Maravilla, Human Resource Manager at DPS Telecom.

Help Your References Prepare for the Reference Check
The people on your reference list should be prepared to answer a variety of questions about you. Call your references to let them know you are listing them as a reference. Talk to them about the job you are applying for and what they feel you could contribute to the position. A good hiring manager asks questions to gain insights about both the strengths and weaknesses of an applicant, when conducting a reference check. You should allow your reference time to think about how they will answer those questions" says Rosa.

When Rosa contacts references, she wants to know about their relationship with the applicant, if there were any problems that interfered with his or her performance, the applicant's successes with the company, their initiative and if there is room for improvement.

Who Makes A Good Reference?
When choosing your references make sure you pick previous managers, co-workers, and clients that can distinguish you as an applicant. You should avoid listing family members and friends as references as hiring managers can often see that as a red-flag that you are trying to hide something about your work history.

Do not make the mistake of listing a reference that can't provide detail about your work history. Most employers by way of general policy do not allow managers to release reference information, other than your dates of employment. This often makes it difficult to obtain reference from a previous manager. However, "depending upon company policy, applicants may have the option to provide their manager written consent to provide a reference check for a specific company,"says Rosa.

Reference Checks Benefit Everyone
Rosa says "as hiring managers are not out to get you, we want to learn more about you as an employee". The company's goal is to hire the best candidate for the job and reference checks help us assess an applicant's fit. Good references cannot only help you get the job but can help you get the right job.