As you progress through the hiring process, you know that when the interviewer asks for your references, you’re on the shortlist for the position. Your references can make or break whether or not you receive the offer. When is the last time you thought about whom you have on your reference list?

It may be time to update them.

When you start your career, your references may be teachers, coaches or family friends. That will surely not be the case with your second job.

It’s important to keep references current throughout your career for the following reasons:

  1. Shift in focus. If your career has evolved over the years, your current references may no longer be able to speak to your abilities in the areas that are critical to the new job. Reevaluate your reference list based on the kinds of jobs you are looking for.
  2. Ongoing relationship. Your references don’t have to be your best friends – in fact, they shouldn’t be. They should, however, be people you stay in touch with. You should have accurate contact information and know where they currently work if they have changed jobs.
  3. Willingness to help. You want references who will recommend you enthusiastically, not those who grudgingly agree to take the call.
  4. Memories fade. The manager who thought you were among the best employees five years ago may barely remember you now if you haven’t been in contact.
  5. Add to your list. Most employers will ask for 3-5 references. In an ideal world you will have at least twice that, first, so that you can select the best reference for each situation and secondly if your search is long and involved, you don’t want them to be contacted by multiple employers.
  6. Stay in touch. References are valuable to your career and an important part of your professional network. Pay attention to what’s going on in their lives, and stay connected to them on social media. Give them a heads up when an employer may be calling them and if you get the job, be sure to thank them.

Need Help With Your Job Search? Contact Focus of Georgia!

If you are interested in additional career advice or want help finding the ideal job for you, contact the experts at Focus of Georgia today!


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