Including references in a CV is often considered by candidates to be a rather last minute formality, but 69% of employers said that they have changed their minds about a candidate after consulting a reference: 47% had a less positive view of the candidate and 22% had a more positive view of the candidate.
Here’s how to make sure your references do the job they are supposed to in your application process:
1. Make sure your referees are only people that you have been professionally accountable to. They will provide the most useful information to your potential employer.
2. Don’t fake them! 29% of employers stated that they found a fake reference on an application.
3. Ensure your referee can give specific feedback about you with regard to the key tasks or behaviours required for the role.
4. Make sure the statements in your CV are consistent with what your referee is going to say about you, i.e. don’t lie on your CV.
5. Make sure that references, recommendations or testimonials across your social media profiles are consistent with your CV references. Employers may view inconsistencies as a reason not to trust you and therefore not employ you.
6. Keep your online profiles and references up to date. It saves employers time and will make you look more professional and on the ball.
7. Don’t include referees that are likely to give you a bad reference, but don’t panic if you do get a negative one. Not all recruiters dismiss a candidate with one bad reference if you have other strong qualities. If you get the chance, try to explain discreetly what happened with the previous employer without blaming them.
Remember that this is how employers get their third-party perspective on you. If forced to choose, some recruiters would even forego the interview if it meant they could have the references. So don’t be blasé about your references; make them count.
Source: HN Global