If you’ve ever applied to a job, chance are they’ve asked for a reference. You may not know this, but who that reference is can set your career on an entirely different trajectory. A professional reference is the secret weapon in any good candidate’s handbook. Today, we’ll explain why it’s so important to have a great professional reference.
References Show Employers Who You Really Are
Everyone tailors their resumes to paint them in the best light. Whether it be the way you describe your job functions or the projects you focus on, everything is geared toward putting you on top. That’s completely normal, but from the employer’s point of view, they need to know who you really are. A professional reference gives them a more detailed and honest look into the person they are considering hiring. If the company you plan on applying to is quite sophisticated and uses technology to sift through applications (like this Canadian HR software), then there is a strong chance that it would pick up on the reference in your resume. This would be beneficial to you because the reference would then be highlighted for the employer’s eyes to see.
Choosing Your Reference
Before you put someone down, give it a good bit of thought. You want to pick someone who will not only advocate for you, but someone who also has had the experience with you to actually say the things the employer wants to hear. For instance, a teacher might know that you are a hard worker and naturally gifted, but they can’t speak to your experience producing results in a work setting. On the other hand, an old boss or co-worker will know exactly how you specifically made their company a better place.
On the other hand, an old boss or co-worker will know exactly how you specifically made their company a better place. In case you are not aware, you can also ask your current employer for a reference. But keep in mind that asking for a reference, in this case, may require careful consideration and the right questions. You do not want your employer to view your request as a sign that you’re considering leaving, potentially affecting your current position. While they can provide valuable insights into your current job performance, it’s important to assess the nature of your relationship with them as well as your company’s policies. So, choose wisely!
Why References are so Important
A reference will drastically increase your chances of getting hired. They give employers time to find out more about you and fill the gaps in what you’ve told them. More so, they keep connections and networks open. By using someone as a reference, you’re likely to still be in contact with them. If you’re not, don’t use them as a reference. Over time, this’ll make sure your network stays intact. Ultimately this will benefit you throughout your career.
With a professional reference in hand, you can put yourself in a good position to get any job you apply for. When you’re ready for a new opportunity, visit JōbSource to find you the great job you’ve been searching for. With branches all over California and the country, we’re confident we’ll find you the right fit!