How You Should Approach References
The people you meet through your life and career can be those to call upon when it comes to a reference.
The team highlights the role of the reference and above all else not to panic. It’s a way to validate who you are, where you’ve worked and dates when a potential employer is looking for peace of mind.
Kimberley Best, Recruitment Consultant shares what happens. “At its most basic level, a candidate's current company will confirm a title, start and end date. However, based on experience people might not have too many commercial instances to reach out to. References don’t always have to be business-led, it could be clubs, organisations you are a part of, even a tutor. The most important thing to remember is never to provide someone’s details without their permission.”
When it comes to your reference, who should you turn to? Harriet Wilson, Assistant Operations Manager explains, “Recognise the people who can talk with confidence about your professional output. The person who knows you and the responsibilities you have achieved.”
“A reference is effectively a stamp of truth. If you approach with honesty, you have nothing to hide. If someone responds in a way that defines your potential, that can be extremely helpful. Make sure that when someone has given a reference, you follow up with a ‘thanks.”
A reference isn’t something that comes into the conversation at the end of the interview process, Jordan Ball, Senior Industrial Recruitment Consultant highlights, “Within the temp market, we have clients who request references from roles from the past two years. This means we have to source well before the start date. For that reason, I always have references at hand. My advice is to reach out to people at the start of your job search and ask them if they are happy to give a good word.”
“Perhaps suggest the role that you are applying for and the best contact info. This also can be useful as you are already prepared before the interviews build momentum, and have people to turn to and rely on. That can only be a good thing!”
People very rarely give a negative reference and can only be start dates and roles to confirm. If you have put some thought and confident that others will positively represent you, then you have nothing to worry about. The references are the jigsaw of who you are and are there to support your next steps.