5 Steps to make your references a powerful asset on your behalf.

It’s no secret that in today’s challenging job market, you’ll likely need some less-than-traditional tools in your arsenal. Too many applicants simply use their previous references as a listing to be offered upon request by prospective employers, say the reference checking experts at JobReferences.

Here are 5 steps designed to make your references powerful assets in your job-seeking toolbox:

  1. First, make a list of all your prospective references. Begin with the first job that is relevant in the management of your career today. You need to select those who have carefully observed your job performance. Your references need to have seen you in action, hopefully performing well in adverse conditions. Be sure to gather all- important contact data about every potential reference, including name, title, company, address, telephone/fax number, and e-mail address.
  2.  Narrow the list. After you have made your list of references, select those that you feel will be most willing to give you an excellent report. A typical list of references should include at least 5 names, depending on the amount of experience a candidate has accumulated.
  3. Contact each reference personally (beforehand). Send each selected reference a note stating that you are seeking new employment and that you would like to use them as a reference. Be sure to share with them your current resume and let them know of the position you are applying for, as well as the type of qualities the company is likely seeking. Emphasize those aspects of your skill set that you wish highlighted by the reference to prospective employers.
  4. Conduct your “due diligence” ahead of time. The last thing you want is to lose out on a good position because you did not have your references organized, validated and prioritized. You can even use your references as effective networking tools in asking them to keep your name out in front of those with whom they associate. Again, tell your references what you have been doing since the last time you worked with them. Not only is this the courteous thing to do; it also keeps them updated on your career. Any reference that is well informed about the progression of your career will be a much better reference. Lastly, ask them if they know of any current job openings in your field.
  5. Finally, craft your finished product – your reference list that showcases your working relationship, and skill set, with each of your key references. Create your reference list so that an employer will see exactly how you/your references interacted, and those attributes that will “talk” to the skill set your prospective employers are seeking.

In summary, utilize a proactive, creative approach to showcasing your references to differentiate yourself from most other applicants and ensure that the next “new hire” will be…you.

For more information, please visit https://myjobreferences.com.

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About Allison

Allison & Taylor Inc. and its principals have been in the business of checking references for individuals and corporate accounts since 1984. We have successfully built our brand and corporate recognition and have been recommended by industry specialists such as The New York Times award-winning author Martin Yate (“Knock ‘Em Dead Résumés”). Numerous articles have been published about our business in newspapers and magazines including The Christian Science Monitor, The Wall Street Journal, Glamour Magazine, New Woman, Worth, National Business Employment Weekly, The Detroit News, and The St. Petersburg Times.