Thought you had that job interview in the bag? Already bought that new suit in anticipation of landing that brilliant new job, only to find that the position went to someone else?

Wondering what when wrong? Perhaps it’s your references letting you down!

After working as a recruiter for over 13 years, it never ceased to amaze me the number of candidates who would give me a referee to contact without actually checking with the person in question if they would in fact be a reference and attest to their previous work performance.

There is nothing more detrimental to your reputation than a recruiter or future employer, calling your referee only to find that the referee declines to comment, or worse still gives a less than ideal account of your past work ethic or performance. Many a time I can recall a most seemingly flawless candidate not living up to their initial impression……..according to their referees! So perhaps it’s your referee’s that are letting you down.

Wondering what when wrong? Perhaps it's your references letting you down!

Wondering what when wrong? Perhaps it’s your references letting you down!

It would also continually surprise me the amount of people who list their current manager or supervisor on their resume as a referee, without having discussed with them that they are considering leaving.  Unless your current Supervisor or Manager is aware you are looking, NEVER list their contact details on your Resume or pass their name onto a potential employer.  You don’t want to jeopadise your current position by having them receive a phone call asking for a reference on your performance.

Plan ahead. Compile a strong list of referees who are willing to attest to your capabilities. These should ideally consist of people to whom you reported to in your last few positions.

Call your referee for their permission first, then after you have passed on their details to a potential employer (usually at interview stage) inform your referee what position you have applied for and that they may be contacted.

You want your referees to be prepared so that they can shed the best light on your suitability for a particular role. Give them time to think about how you as a person, may fit into that particular role and what strengths you could bring to this new position.

An excellent reference can give you the edge over other potential applicants and help you land that all important job!

Have you had positive or negative experience from your references?