Who you gonna call? Who are your referees?

As we get into August I have a burst of optimism that I will get lost of ‘stuff’ done. Both work wise and home wise. What my brain has failed to factor in is the three nerds-in-training who need entertaining / prising from the PC to see a bit of sunlight / advising on the best age appropriate sci fi box set. In short my business is moved to the corners of the day.

So it was great to get a prompt from a friend as to whether I had asked for a client recommendation from a mutual acquaintance. Exactly the type of job I am supposed to be catching up on! I got me thinking about people’s choices of referees…

Referees write references

A part of the recruitment process which is often not given enough thought is your choice of referees. The key here is choice. In exactly the same way you should tailor your CV to each application, you should choose appropriate referees.

Whilst it is usual to have an existing manager (or tutor if a student) as one of your referees, most roles will ask for 2 or 3 references. Choose wisely! The biggest mistake I see in applications is choosing someone very senior or eminent to try and impress. However, the following real reference example is the warning here:

“Whilst I have never met X, I am sure they will do well in this position”

Chose people who can provide a helpful, useful reference. Someone who knows how you work and would be willing to write about your great work qualities. Referees could be asked about your work history (is your CV real?!), attributes (are you punctual?), skills (how good are they at …) and your character. These are big asks so always, always seek permission from your referees before you put their names down. Let them know what type of roles your are applying for, why you are interested in them and give them a copy of your CV.

If you are applying for lots of roles, put ‘references on request’ so your lovely referees don’t get inundated!

There is some great further advice here. AND make sure they will write something positive. If they ask you to draft it, think of someone else who will write from their experience. They will be much more positive than your will be about yourself!

Want a friendly hand with that application? I can help …

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