Tuesday, 21. June 2011
References and letters of recommendation are an important aspect of your job search, and ensuring that you have a good stockpile of both will go a long way at helping you land that new job. Although it may sound obvious, the most important thing about references is to ask someone who has something good to say about you.
When asking for a reference or letter of recommendation from a former supervisor or colleague it is always best to go with the indirect approach, such as through email. This way the person will not feel pressured to offer a recommendation that they may not feel is appropriate.
Most hiring managers require two or more references, so it is always a good idea to split up your specific skills among your references. You can ask one of your references to address your time management and computer skills, while another one can address your organizational and management skills. This way the hiring manager will get a more rounded picture of your entire skill set, as apposed to each of your references saying the same thing about you and what the hiring manager already knows from reading your professional resume.
It is important to keep your references up-to-date about your job search and provide them with any job descriptions for companies that they may be called on to speak on your behalf. It is also a good idea to let them know approximately when they should expect a call.
Finally, regardless of the outcome, make sure you always take the time to thank your reference and let them know how it all went.