The Importance of References During a Job Search

By TriMech on

A Point of Reference!

We’ve all heard the old saying that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, right? Well, in the employment world that saying holds true especially when it comes to checking professional employment references during the hiring process. Just what are employment references? Simply put, they are a listing of those tried and true supervisors and colleagues from our work life, past and present, who we call upon when we find ourselves searching for our next big employment move.

Just What Do Recruiters Discuss With Your References?

Yes, it’s true; recruiters are talking to your references about YOU! Most of the conversation is a fact-checking scenario around what you’ve already told them about yourself. Your work history, professionalism, job knowledge and performance are the typical topics of discussion. Some common questions asked during employment reference checks are as follows:

  • Where and how long did you work together?
  • Were  you his/her manager?
  • How would you rate his/her work?
  • How would you rate his/her dependability?
  • What are his/her areas for improvement?
  • Would you work with him/her again?
  • Is he/she eligible for rehire?

How and When Do Recruiters Check Your References?

In today’s world, employment references can be obtained many different ways. From a standard phone call, fax, written letters, email or LinkedIn the communication options go on and on. However, you should have a prepared listing of your professional employment references with names and contact information that you can provide to your recruiter upon request. Most recruiters will ask for employment references at the time that you have secured a face-to-face or on-site interview. Checking employment references at this time acts as confirmation that you are a viable candidate.

Should I Keep in Touch With My References?

As a candidate for employment, it is a great idea to maintain positive correspondence with your references. Some of your them, may be from years ago, but you should always update them in the loop about your current job and potential interviews. It’s helpful to not only obtain permission to give out the references’ contact information but to also provide them with a summary job description for the role you are interviewing for. By doing this, your reference will be better prepared to discuss how your skill set will fit with the tasks of the desired role.

Why Are Employment References so Important to Your Job Search?

In short, professional employment references are important to your job search because they are a compilation of checks and balances about your professional story. To an employer, references can affirm the good qualities and skills that you bring to the table and display during the interview process.

 Need more hiring, interviewing, or job search advice? TriMech Staffing is here for all your staffing needs. Contact us to see how we can help you.