3 Tips for Asking for Job References
It isn’t uncommon for day labor recruiters or staffing agencies to ask for job references during the application process. So when you’re applying for a job that asks for this information, here are three things you should do.
Choose the Right People
The first step in making a good impression on a recruiter with your references is to make sure you list the right ones. While it may be tempting to list your family, friends and even neighbors, you need people who can really give a hiring manager a meaningful perspective on you as a worker. A good job reference is one who has positive things to say about your work and how it has impacted the company. They should also be able to give specific examples of your performance and they should also have a good work reputation themselves. Former bosses and co-workers fit the bill even if the work you did for them was completely different from the position you’re applying to now. If you don’t have any work experience, teachers and any organizations you’ve volunteered for would make good job references as well.
Contact Them Ahead of Time
Once you have a list of potential job references, you need to reach out them as soon as possible, preferably before any interviews. That way, when a recruiter does call, a job reference isn’t caught off guard or worse, doesn’t respond at all. While an email can work, getting on the phone is a lot more effective especially if it’s been awhile since you spoke with this person. So what should you tell them? Let them know briefly about the job you're applying for and ask if you could use them as a reference. It may also be helpful to remind this possible job reference about the work you did for them in the past. Once they agree, you will need to confirm their job title and find out how they would like to be contacted by the recruiter.
Once you land the job it’s a great idea to follow-up with your job references and let them know. Thank them for helping you get this new position with a phone call or a handwritten note. Periodically check back to see if there’s any way you can be of help to them whether as a reference or giving an online review. Keeping in contact with job references reinforces your network as well as makes it a lot easier to reach out to them again in the future.
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