Many people do not realize the importance of providing a great reference to employers. Having a reference that is going to speak highly of your work ethic and performance is highly recommended. My experience has been that many of my candidates, when they are job searching, get called in for an interview, interview goes well but they are never hired. When I call the employer to ask how the interview went they state that it went well but their references were not good.
I always stress to individuals to call their references before using them and ask them what they would say about you if an employer asked. You want to make sure they are saying something positive about you or you are not going to use them as a reference.
Recently I worked with an individual who worked in the car sales industry. After many years of employment they left under really bad terms. They then went to apply to another car sales establishment. They were interviewed and the interview went really well; however the supervisor called the last place they worked and they did not get a good reference. Therefore this individual did not get the job. My advice to this individual was to look at another line of work, because the auto industry is very close and all it took was one phone call for that supervisor to change their mind about that candidate.
Another problem people have is they don’t have a reference. If you do not have a work reference, I strongly recommend that you get involved in a volunteer position where supervisors or volunteer coordinators can witness your work ethic and how you correspond with others and then you can ask them if they will be a reference for you. Volunteering can be as easy as coaching sports, baking for school breakfast programs or listening to school children read, the list of volunteer options is endless. Look in your local area for volunteer opportunities – it is a great way to build references, network and help your community.
by Louise Shea, Guest Blogger for Agilec