How Important are References?

We all know the basics of job search, right? But do all of them still apply in the 21st century? There are have been so many innovations and so many new industries sprout up in the past few years, the plain paper resumé seems rather quaint. However, there is a reason that this format and its components have endured for so many years: they offer a predictable and streamlined way for employers to get a first glance at your credentials.

References are a part of the standard resumé package and one that people should take more seriously. Employers do look at your references and they do indeed run reference checks. Office Team reported that more than 20% of candidates are eliminated from consideration once potential employers speak to the people in the reference section.

What is the best course of action when it comes to references? First off, do not put anyone down without getting their permission. Can you imagine being phoned by an employer and asked questions about someone without any advance warning? You will not have thought about what you might say, and your answers might not be that positive. In fact, you might be so annoyed that you intentionally say something negative or simply hang up.

Choose people that you know liked your performance and respect your skills. Once you have received the OK to use them as a reference, don’t be afraid to tell the person what you would like emphasized. For example, if you are seeking a job as an administrative assistant, you could ask them to emphasize how good you are with time management and attention to detail.

Most importantly, don’t believe that your references are not important. If you are facing a lot of competition for a position and the hiring manager is not sure who to go with, they will put a lot of emphasis on how your references speak about you.