A good reference can make all the difference in your job search. But how do you know who to ask and whether they will say what you need them to in order to land the job you want? Good references are worth their weight in gold, but they can be nudged in the right direction with just a little help from you. Here are some thoughts on how to talk to the right people, get the right information, and know what to do next.

  • Make a list. Who in your career would be able to speak well about your background, skills and experience? Your reference doesn’t just have to be the HR department at your last company. You can select former managers, co-workers or even people with whom you’ve volunteered. Once you have a list, narrow it down to the people you think will be the best at communicating about you.
  • Write out key points. Before you approach the people on your list, consider the things you want them to cover in your reference. Whether they are willing to write a letter or give you permission to be contacted, it’s okay to nudge them in the right direction in terms of what needs to be said. What aspects of your background are most important for this job?  
  • Talk to them. Never give reference information for someone you haven’t spoken with to get permission. You want to talk to them so they have a fresh perspective in their minds as well. If you can, set up a face-to-face conversation so you have a positive and casual interaction that will put them in the right frame of mind to provide a reference.  
  • Provide correct contact info. All this work will mean nothing if you’re not able to provide the correct details. It sounds like common sense, but companies see it all the time. Make sure you use the person’s current phone number or email address to ensure your references can be contacted in a timely manner.

Are you ready with your references? Contact ProStaff to help you find a new job in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania today.