Including job references in your resume puts you ahead in the job application process. Your references are a way to vouch for your experience, qualifications, and professional achievements. However, despite the power behind this resume section, most job seekers tend to give references little to no thought.
Even the slightest mistake in your references can jeopardize your chances of getting hired. Avoid these common mistakes to ensure your references don’t end up doing more harm than good.
Not Asking for Permission from Your References
Before you list anyone as a reference, get permission first. This way, your references will be ready with an elevator pitch about you and your professional accomplishments. Furthermore, many employers will try to contact references without prior notice. By getting permission in advance, you can give your references a heads-up to expect a call and be prepared to speak on your behalf.
Listing Inappropriate People as References
When choosing who will serve as your references, only select those who can speak to your qualifications for the job you’re applying for. For example, listing a personal reference like parents or relatives is generally not a good idea. The same goes for someone you haven’t worked with in years or who doesn’t have much good to say about you.
The primary purpose of the references is to help potential employers learn more about your professional accomplishments and qualifications. Therefore, only include those who can vouch for your skills and work ethic.
Not Providing Enough Information about Your References
When listing your references on your resume or job application, always include the reference’s full name, title, company name, and contact details. The information will make it easy for potential employers to contact your references when they’re ready.
Including too little information about your references can make it difficult for employers to contact them — which can reflect poorly on you as a candidate.
Not Preparing a Reference List in Advance
Not every employer asks for a reference list upfront. However, if an employer does request a list of references, have one prepared in advance. This step will save you from scrambling to create a list at the last minute — and when you have a list ready, your reference contacts have adequate time to prepare any materials they may need, such as letters of recommendation.
Your references should know the nature of the position you’re applying for and your most recent professional accomplishments. This way, the references can speak to your qualifications and work ethic concerning the job you’re applying for.
Not Confirming Contact Information
Before you submit your references, confirm that the contact information is accurate and valid. An employer trying to reach a reference only to find the phone number is no longer in service is not a good look.
Also, some individuals don’t like it when you share their personal contact information without permission. Confirm that your references are okay with you listing their contact information, or if they prefer you to share office contact information only.
Now that you know what to do and avoid when listing references, you are better positioned to put your best foot forward during the job application process. Just remember to choose references wisely, and if you are unsure if you are doing things right, consult staffing agencies for help.
Tulsa’s Green Country Staffing is your trusted partner in the staffing process. With years of experience, our team can help you improve your resume, prepare for interviews, and find the job that’s the perfect fit for you. Contact us today for more details on how we can help you list your references.