What you need to know about providing job references

We were asked by Destiny Man Magazine to provide some tips and advice in relation to providing job references. Here's what we said:

Any worthwhile employer will check references to ensure that you are who you say you are. Good credible references are essential to put your potential employer's mind at ease and could actually influence their decision when making an offer.

Employers usually ask for references after an offer has been made and accepted, but they may make a request earlier in the recruitment process, particularly if they have a tough decision to make between more than one candidate.

Here are a few tips:

  • When leaving a job, leave with a good reference. Make sure you stay in touch and keep their contact details up to date. You should be able to provide their full name, their position when you were working with them, their direct line number or cell and an email address.
  • Referees should know you well and ideally be a direct line manager or a more senior team member you've worked closely with. You will usually be asked for references from your two most recent employers (including your current one). If you're a graduate, choose two relevant lecturers and a manager from a work placement or relevant work experience.
  • It is commonplace to list references in a CV. This is not essential and in fact, we would advise to provide references on request. In that way, you can prepare referees prior to them being contacted. They're more likely to "sell" your most relevant strengths, particularly over the phone, if they're not caught on the hop, and you certainly wouldn't want your current employer to be contacted if they are not aware of your intention to resign!
  • Honesty is the best policy! If references don't stack up, an offer can be withdrawn or worse still, your employment could be terminated. Deliberately misleading an employer can seriously damage your career as word spreads, particularly in a close knit industry.

To view the article by Destiny Man Magazine, please click here

Author: Nike Wadds, Stand Tall Consulting

Copyright 2012 Stand Tall Consulting