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The quality of your references can make or break your job search success. Many hiring managers have abruptly changed their minds about their top choice candidates and took them out of the running because of the information they received during the reference check. Choose the right references when you are job searching with these five tips:

 

    1. Someone who has managed you.

The most credible references in the eyes of hiring managers are those who have been your managers. They will generally have the most in-depth insight into your work habits and performance, and be able to answer specific questions about you with the most authority.

    1. Someone who has worked with you.

Colleagues can also serve as helpful references if you don’t have enough former managers to use. Pick someone who has worked closely enough with you to have a clear picture of your skills, workstyle and your ability to collaborate in a team environment.

    1. Someone who has taught you.

Professors, advisors, or any other teacher can be impactful references, especially for recent graduates or those with a limited work history. If you want to provide someone who has taught you as a reference, choose one who has closely overseen you on projects that utilize relevant skills needed for the position, such as teamwork, communication, or project management.

    1. Someone who has good things to say.

When you’re trying to determine which people to provide as references, consider how confident you are in what they’ll say about you. If you don’t think a reference would have good things to say, such as a previous manager who you didn’t get along with, avoid using them if possible.

    1. Someone who has a credible reputation.

References are intended to support your standing as a candidate, so ensure anyone you select will be taken seriously by hiring managers. Avoid using someone who doesn’t have a credible reputation, such as a former manager who left the industry under negative circumstances.

 

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