Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Time to buff up the reference list?

What if you have been out of work so long, your references are dead or have also been laid off and you have no contact numbers? What if the companies you worked for have gone to corporate heaven?

My kid is in this position. She said, “Mom, all these places are gone…” I said, “All you can do is explain that when you get an interview.”

CareerBuilder riffed off on references recently. Are the ones you are offering showing you to best advantage?

Do they want to see you succeed as much as you want to succeed?

Can they talk about your strengths. Do they know your strengths?

If they are with a company, they may not be allowed to talk about your time there—only that you did work there.

Always ask them before listing them. Bring them up to date on you. See what they are doing.

Keep them in the loop—“I gave out your name…” That sort of thing. Do this when you first hear a prospective employer is going to start checking refs.

If you think someone is trashing you—yank them off the list. You’d be amazed how often people don’t even think about this.

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