When you’ve passed the phone screen, aced the interview, and received the job offer, it can feel like a home run. However, many offers are contingent upon a reference check.

So how can you ensure the contacts you give to a potential employer will sing your praises and help you to secure the position? The Tempe recruiting team at PrideStaff has some tips to help you:

Choose primarily supervisors.

If you’re employed at the moment, it’s ok to leave off your current boss. Employers understand that. However, don’t submit a reference list with all past colleagues or character references. That will be a big red flag.

Instead, it’s important that the majority of your references (two out of three, or three out of five, depending on how many are required) are past managers. These are the people who can speak to your skill level, interpersonal abilities and value to the team.

Think about colleagues too.

When it comes to speaking about what you’re like to work with day in and out, a co-worker is often the best person to ask. However, be sure to choose wisely.

For instance, just because a colleague will speak highly of you doesn’t mean they’re the right person to use as a reference if they can’t offer any relevant information about your qualifications. The best co-workers to choose as references are those who can connect your abilities and background with the job in a positive way.

Consider those with a company connection.

Hiring managers are more likely to trust information that comes from someone they know. If you therefore have a potential reference that actually works for the company, that person can go a long way in helping you secure the job.

Use those from outside of paid positions.

If you’re on the board of a local non-profit or regularly volunteer at a community charity, you can use people from that experience as a reference too. Just don’t list people like friends, family or neighbors, unless you’re specifically asked for character references from those in your personal life.

Ask them first.

Never offer a contact as a reference without first asking their permission. If you do, then they could be blindsided by a phone call from an employer and unable to speak in a way that best articulates why you’re a great hire.

Need more help with your job search?

Call the Tempe recruiting team at PrideStaff. We can assist you with all aspects of your search, from start to finish, all so you secure a position that’s an excellent match for you. Contact us today to learn more or get started.


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