Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Choosing Employment References Requires Careful Preparation

Many job seekers underestimate the power of their references and are passed over for employment as a result. Knowing this, you must carefully choose employment references that compliment your resumé.

Think about people who would be willing to vouch for you as a reference or who would be willing to write a letter of recommendation. Select three or four people who know you well and who can comment positively about your work habits, skills, and personal qualities. Typical references include former and/or current supervisors, colleagues and/or subordinates, former customers and/or clients, or contacts from work-related associations or volunteer work.

Ask your potential references if they feel they could write a strong recommendation. Choose only those who can provide this for you. To make the task easier for your references, provide a copy of your resumé or other information about your direction and background.

The people you choose as references should be available by telephone when a prospective employer calls. If a person isn’t easily available by telephone, ask the person to provide a letter of recommendation. A letter of recommendation offers a written appraisal of your work habits, skills, and personal qualities. Ask the person to address the letter “To Whom It May Concern,” so that you can use the letter over and over again.

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