Getting effective Professional References

Imagine receiving a call from an agency asking for Professional reference for someone. You are in the middle of finishing your presentation, and you are thinking hard to remember this colleague or client who you might have worked with 2 -3 years back. Imagine, you say, you can’t recollect this person, and reference check goes unsuccessful.

Now imagine, this was your job application for a senior role you desperately wanted to get, and your ex-manager had no idea you had referred him for a professional reference check.

There is an increasing emphasis to employ someone with the verified background and professional reference checks. It is highly recommended to follow the below checklist:

1. Ask for Permission

Before you put someone for your reference checks, please ensure that you have requested them personally, and they have agreed to be your reference. No one likes to receive a reference check call without prior intimation. This will also allow them to prepare for the expected call or email.

2. Keep them Updated

Even though most of the reference checks are usually done right before the offer stage. However, in some cases, reference checks might be done by an external agency. Hence they might approach references much before. To avoid any last-minute surprises, try to understand a timeframe when they can expect a call/email. So that they are more likely to attend that call or respond to email within the scheduled time frame.

3. Prepare a List of Questions

If you have worked with them few months back or an year back, this is important to refresh their memories and help them prepare for the expected question(s). We are not suggesting to feed a favorable outcome during references. These are the mere skeleton of your engagement together and let referencee fill in the rest. Some of the questions could be:

  • Which company/project did you work together?
  • What were the approximate start and end date/month of the engagement?
  • Role and responsibilities of the referee and reference at that time?
  • Any extraordinary accomplishments or achievements during the assignment?
  • Also, refresh memories about the day to operate and the nature of the interaction you shared with the reference.

Your references matter, and in some cases, this could be one of the deciding factor whether you will get the job or not. Nurture your relations and have a good list of people who will vouch for your work, and ethics is secret to ace the reference checks.

Wish you very best for your job hunt !!

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