Need a reference? Avoid this crucial mistake

Regional Manager Gippsland - DFP Recruitment

Many job seekers make the mistake of confirming their referees well after commencing their job search. It is important to resolve the issue of references at the start of your job hunt so that this matter will not cause undue anxiety during the search. Generally, your former employers and associates will not intend to say anything particularly negative, however, you naturally want them to confirm positive achievements in your career and past role.

How to get a reference from your former employer

In order to ensure that a positive reference is given by your former employer, highlighting your strengths, you will need to gain your former employer’s agreement to act as a referee and an understanding of what level of support you can expect. The best way to achieve this is to contact your former employer outlining the types of roles you are seeking and provide a copy of your resume. Allow 1-2 days for them to read through your resume and then agree on a time for you to follow up. The purpose of this call is to determine if your former employer supports the accomplishments you have outlined in your resume. If not, you’ll need to find out where the discrepancy lies. Remember, you may not agree with the feedback. However, seeking information at this point is essential to gain an accurate picture of what is likely to be confirmed about your performance upon reference check.

Other professional and personal references

In addition to employer references, it is advisable to have references from professional colleagues and former managers. Choose these referees carefully and communicate fully with them about your situation, your specific work history the job you are interested in and how it fits it with your career objective.  Do not give names of referees without first receiving their permission.

Do not assume that prospective referees know all about you. It is your responsibility to provide them with your updated resume prior to giving their details to your job interviewers.

In most cases, a positive reference can be the difference between getting the role or not. So ensure you make the effort to line up a few contacts that you can bank on and don’t forget to thank them once they’ve given you a reference.

Briana Tomasinski

Regional Manager Gippsland - DFP Recruitment

Briana Tomasinski commenced with DFP in March 2010 and is located in DFP’s Gippsland office in Traralgon. With over 15 years’ experience in recruitment, Briana is DFP’s Regional Manager for the Gippsland region, engaged full-time. As a graduate of the Gippsland Community Leadership Program, she has a Diploma in Management and Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety and is currently studying towards a Masters in Human Resources and Business. Prior to joining DFP, Briana had over 10 years’ experience within the IT industry within the reseller, distribution and vendor space. In 2005 she moved to Javrow, a specialist talent acquisition and retention consultancy, where she worked as a Consultant for almost 4 years before transitioning to generalist recruitment roles at GBS Recruitment managing both temporary and permanent portfolios for trades through to professional and executive classifications. Briana is a passionate and proud Gippslandian and is driven by connecting organisations with leading talent across Gippsland.

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Sally-Anne Watson Kane
Sally-Anne Watson Kane

This is such good advice for job-hunters – especially contacting your referees and discussing issues with them prior to applying for a job. I would add one more item: give your potential referee not only your resume but also, importantly, a copy of the job description for the specific job you have in mind: that way, they will be able to speak to your skills against the specific selection criteria which is exactly what the interviewer/interviewing panel will want.