UYR
 Update Your Resume


  Your Resume is our ONLY business!

resume check  FREE e-Resume        resume check  FREE Scannable Resume        resume check  FREE PDF Resume        resume check  FREE Sample Resumes     resume check  FREE Critiques 
 

Resumes Win Interviews, References Win Job Offers  

By Heidi M. Allison, Managing Director, www.allisontaylor.com  

 

 

Inquiring minds want to know, and no minds are more inquiring than those about to hire you. Rest assured, you will be investigated. As a rule of thumb, the better the job and the higher the pay, the tougher the screening process. If you are up for a good job at a visible company, your references and past employers will be checked in great detail. Your list of references is simply the beginning of the investigation a prospective employer will conduct.  

When a prospective employer has completed the first round of interviews and you are among the top candidates, its next logical step is to check your references and interview those individuals to whom you reported. Are you certain these individuals will seal the deal for you, or will they blow it away? If you are like most people, you probably haven't given your references much thought. Instead, you have focused on your resume, interviewing skills, networking, and what to wear to the interview. Now the focus shifts.  

Your biggest concern should be the quality of your references and recommendations from past employers, because they can make or break your chances. About half of all references that get checked range from mediocre to poor, so it is very possible that the great job you lost out on at the last moment had nothing to do with your skill level. It could have had more to do with what a reference or past employer said about you. So, if you are concerned that someone, somewhere, might be giving you a bum rap, you are probably right. That's a frightening scenario when your livelihood is at stake.  

Here is a sampling of the damaging comments HR people and line managers hear when they check references:  

  • "Our company policy prohibits us saying anything. We can only verify dates of employment and title." Then the reference goes on to say something like, "Check his references very, very carefully."  
  • "Are you certain he gave my name as a reference?"  
  • "After we settle our lawsuit..."  
  • "Let me see what the paperwork says I am able to give out regarding _______."  
  • "Is he still in this field?"  

References and past employers won't call and warn you that they are not going to be complimentary. The reference situation is ever changing and therefore very volatile because of shifting company policies (not that many employees choose to follow them anyway), new employees in HR departments, new laws governing references, and company liability for giving references.  

You are well advised to take more control of your career momentum by finding out what every potential reference will say about you. If the odds hold, as they will, those references will range from stellar to negative; yet when you know what someone is going to say about you, you can pass on your best references with greater confidence. You will also have the opportunity to stop references from saying things that are not true or inaccurate.  

Increasing Your Chances of a Good Reference. Here are some general rules of thumb to maximize the tone and accuracy of your references.  

1. Make sure your records are correct. Occasionally an interviewee looks bad because his former HR department did not have the same job date and title information in his file as he did on his resume. Data entry or communications errors are not unusual, so check with your HR department to ensure that their records correspond to yours. Conflicting data will be perceived as a big negative to a prospective employer.  

2. Maintain active and positive relationships with your references. Stay in touch over the phone or over coffee. Keep the reference up-to-date about your progress, and make sure you have the most up-to-date information about them. If the reference's title (or name) has changed, or if they've left their position and you've provided old information to the prospective employer, it doesn't look good.  

3. Advise a reference about an important opportunity. To avoid burning out your references, you don't need to call about every single job opportunity. However, if a particular position is very important to you, call the reference and give them details about what the company may be looking for.  

4. Know reporting relationships. Even though you've given the senior vice president's name as a reference, the prospective employer may resort to calling the director you reported to because she can't reach the senior VP. Even though you have not given that person's name as a reference, it is on the application that you probably filled out. You may want to advise your former boss about the potential for a reference check and explain what the company is looking for.  

5. Know your company's policy. Although federal law restricts reference information, some states now allow more extensive disclosure. Know which regulations and policies govern your company. In addition, be aware that some employees will break company policy. Make sure that works in your favor by checking with references to gain an understanding of what they might say.  

6. Don't rely on relatives or letters of recommendation. You are well advised not to let Uncle John regale a prospective employer about your antics as a youth. Also, although letters of recommendation can be helpful, information such as titles and even names can change over time. Make sure that the information on your letter of recommendation is correct by contacting the reference periodically.  

7. Use a reference-checking service. If you want help in providing good references or if you find that you are losing too many opportunities after several interviews with an organization, you might want to commission a professional reference-checking service. Check to ensure that the service has the professional and legal personnel that can develop a strategic use of your references. Typical service fees range from $59 to $99 per reference checked, depending on level of job position being sought.  

 

 


Click here to place your order!

or Call  (877) 550-EDIT

FREE
Resume
Evaluation- Click Here

FREE COVER LETTER
with Resume

 

TESTIMONIALS

"This is my thank you letter to you. I’ve never written a thank you letter before... I’m very grateful for all your help.  I’m glad that I’ve pushed that “submit” button and initiated that order process.  You not only started me off on the right foot by updating my resume but you’ve coached and encouraged me throughout my job interview process.  I’ve trusted you with all my documentation needs and that trust had given me an extra strength of confidence which had allowed me to show up at the interviews witha big smile on my face.  My smile had gotten even bigger when they’d offered me the position.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart. The overall experience was fantastic. Thank you!! "

V.P. Ontario, Canada

 "Your vast knowledge and quick turnaround has helped me through an untenable situation by taking copious amounts of information, organizing it and producing an accomplishments driven document that produced an interview within 10 days. I remain...It has been a pleasure" 

J.H. New York City, New York

"Stunning...absolutely stunning! You have given me a renewed sense of self knowing I was cabable all along, but unable to put it in words. I was prepared to be on the defensive, but I am totally pleased and can't say enough about the final product. I will definitely refer you to all my friends and colleagues... By the way, did I say Thank you?! THANK YOU!" 

E.M. Miami, Florida