If you are contemplating a job change, you likely will think first about your resume. But what about your references? If you haven’t already started building a list of potential references, now is the time to start. It is always wise to stay connected with former managers so when you need a reference, you can advise them and they will be ready and willing to provide it.
Choose Your References Wisely
Research conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that even in the hiring process for middle management and executive-level positions, references play a key role. Therefore, who you pick as a reference could be the difference when it comes time for a hiring decision to be made.
When thinking of references, you should have a manager at each of the jobs you have worked at for the past seven years. You should also think about potential references who you supported as an internal client or worked directly with. The references you choose should have a deep understanding of your experience and should be seen as highly-credible professionals whose reference carries weight.
You don’t just want your reference to recommend you for any job; you want him or her to recommend you for the specific job or type of job you are seeking. Make sure the references you select can attest to your skills that make you a great fit for a certain position.
What won’t work for you are references who give vague or bland descriptions of your general traits and attributes. You can boost the strength of your reference letters by giving those you have chosen as references written details of your credentials. This can come in handy if you are selecting a professional reference who you haven’t worked with in a long time.
Don’t Limit Communication with References to the Application Process
Having gone to the trouble to get a group of great references, keep your references informed if you know employers you are interviewing with will be reaching out. If your best reference might be out of the country or otherwise unable to receive an email, you will want to let your future employer know that fact and offer a time when you know the reference will be available.
Maintaining your professional contacts is important even after you find new employment. Networking can’t be limited to just when you need assistance with a job reference from your contacts. After you land the job, let your references know and be sure to thank them for speaking on your behalf.
When It’s Time for a Change, Think of Flex Execs
Are you looking for a managerial opportunity in the Chicago area? Flex Execs Management Solutions specializes in placing interim HR, marketing, finance and operations professionals with some of the area’s most prominent companies. Contact us today to start your search!