When it comes to job search these days, discussion usually centres on how the Internet and digital technology have changed things. However, it is important not to forget that some of the basics of job search have not changed over the years. One of the key aspects that does not get as much attention as it deserves is References. Believe it or not, it is possible to make it all the way through job search and be on the verge of getting an offer only to have it torpedoed by one of your references.
Here are some tips to follow in regards to your references that can make or break your job search:
Choose the right people
While we are sure that your mom would like to help you get that job, you need to be a little more imaginative. Be sure to only choose people whose opinions and positions are relevant to the job you seek. It is one thing to have someone vouch for your character, but you really need more than that.
Be sure to have their permission
Just because you had a good relationship with your old supervisor, do not automatically assume that they would be willing to be a reference for you. Always contact potential references first and get their permission. Put yourself in their shoes: how would you like it if someone phoned you up out of the blue and asked for your opinion of someone without you knowing in advance? You might not handle it very well.
There is nothing wrong with telling a reference what you would like them to say about you. Feel free to give them aspects of your career or experience to emphasize in conversation with the prospective employer. Also be sure to tell them things that you would not want them to say.