When a person is seeking new employment, a reference check is often seen as progress. This is not entirely true and has led to a lot of confusion. Even if your references check out, it is simply a single check on a long list of information gathering. Here are a few things to keep in mind about the entire process.
Keep Your References Updated
Outdated references are not an automatic disqualifier for a job, but it doesn’t help. Even if you unknowingly give out bad references, the responsibility is still yours. Keep your list updated by checking in with them before the interview. Their voice mail should be active and don’t put business phone numbers as a reference. This prevents a potential employer from being put on a lengthy hold when they need to make contact. It is a small detail that makes a difference when deciding whether someone has a reliable work history.
Original Thinkers Are Not Original
If your resume has ‘references available upon request’, then delete it. This is often seen as an extra step for employers to go through. They don’t like it, and it makes the entire hiring process slower. There is also a chance they will put you on the spot during the interview and ask for those references. If you are not prepared for that question, it looks suspicious.
Something else that should be avoided is using family members as a reference. There is a reason that employers specifically state not to do that! Circumventing that rule will only paint you in a bad light, and possibly move you to the bottom of the hiring list.
Job seekers that are dishonest with their references are not an attractive option to employers.
So, What Does It Mean?
An employer that checks accurate references puts you in a higher position to get the job. An employer that must go out of their way to get references lowers your chances of getting a job. And an employer that gets bad references will kill any chance of working for that company. None of these scenarios guarantees a position.
The focus on providing good references should be one part of the entire package of securing a job. And even then, the only guarantee is up to the employer.