All too often job seekers invest their energy Into composing resumes and practicing for interviews, but fail to handle their references with the same diligence. Positive and persuasive references frequently seal the deal, so maintaining relationships with them should be a priority.
HERE'S HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF REFERENCES WHEN STARTING A JOB SEARCH:
Make a list of potential references based on your work history and the attributes each could speak to.
Make sure their contact information is kept up to date.
Confirm with them before your job search that they are comfortable acting on your behalf. Ask them what they would say about your strengths and weaknesses.
Remember to include past peers and subordinates, as well as past bosses, as many companies now like to conduct a 360-degree assessment.
Always contact your references before the potential employer does to apprise them of the call, the company, the position, and the attributes the employer may consider to be the most important.
Respect your references' time, and share their names and contact information only with those employers that you seriously wish to pursue.
Offer to reciprocate and act as a reference for them should the need arise.
After you have landed a position, send each reference a thank you note and your new contact information as a courtesy.
Mark Haering is a senior partner with the Indianapolis office of Sales Consultants, a division of Management Recruiters International Inc. He can be reached at email@example.com