Are Your References Weak? You Need Better References
Do you need better references?
So you are a top performer and looking for another job or a promotion at your current company. The interview could not have gone any smoother as it has.
You spoke articulately. You were fast with your responses and succinct. You did not waste their time nor yours. You even connected with the interviewer and had several things in common. However you did not get the job. In fact you did not even make the second round of interviews.
So what do you do? Wait a minute I should have gotten the job since they asked for my references right? Isn’t that the next logical step after that request? Yes, usually it is. So guess what my friend, your references suck! You need better references.
Why are references so important?
They are important, since your potential new employer does not know you and has never worked with you. They need a way to baseline your:
- Skill set relative to the job posting
You need your reference to show the bright side of your character, strengths, and skill sets. Your references should not be touching on your weaknesses unless they spoke you up so highly they feel the need to counter balance it to make it seem more believable.
If this were the case, then instead of rating you 5 in 4 areas they should rate you 5 in 3 areas and maybe rate you 4 in the remaining one, but certainly nothing lower than that. If so, you need better references.
It is extremely important that your references:
- Are enthusiastic and show energy to your potential employer. Low energy monotonous tones can hurt you. No offense to Ben Stein, but “Bueller……Buelller….Bueller”, like tones simply will not cut it.
- Highlights your character, strengths, and skill sets in a positive light.
- Reliable. If they do not pick up the phone and are not willing to call back your potential employer they come off as a bad reference. If this is the case….you need better references. Which brings us to our next topic…
What are Bad References and What Do They Say About Me?
Bad references are any reference that speaks of you in a negative light, or are unreliable, meaning they do not call back your Potential Employer. If they speak low of you no matter if it is your fault or not it makes you look like a fool. When a potential employer checks a reference and it is bad, what does that say about you? It could say:
- You are incompetent or delusional. After all what competent individual would give references bad talking them? It is either true or you are not in touch with reality. Which one is it? It does not really matter, but one thing is for sure, you will not get the job!
- You have a horrible network. This makes your network look weak and after all who wants to connect with someone with such an obviously weak network right?
- Your character really is that bad.
- You have more weaknesses than actual strengths
- Your skill sets are not a good match for the job.
So how do I get on the same page with my references?
Well for one you should have a great relationship with your references. You should always let them know ahead of time to expect a call from your potential employer. Also fill them in on the job position, duties, and competencies necessary to do the job, so they know what parts of your character, strengths, and skill sets to highlight.
Who should I choose for my references?
A good mix of references would be:
- Your direct boss or someone in your chain of command
- A good work friend that you can really coach to speak highly of you
- Another past boss that really likes you, or a good acquaintance with high social standing, such as a CEO or a business owner that you can coach to also speak highly of you.
What if me and my boss are not the best of friends?
If this is the case you do have other options. Are you in great rapport with your boss’s boss? Are you in great rapport with a team lead on a project that you work on? Either of those would satisfy the manager reference that you need.
Letter of Reference: A Good Gauge
A letter of reference is icing on the cake. According to work.chron.com reference letters help employers gain additional insight on your qualifications, personal qualities, and how valuable you are perceived by your company. If you want one you might want to consider getting one written for you before you actually need it.
The letter can also be used as a gauge to see how your employer perceives you as an employee. If the letter is weak do not give it to your potential employer!
In fact if the letter is weak and was written by your boss or anyone that you planned on getting a reference from, do not include them on your reference list.
Instead choose someone else in your management hierarchy or a team lead that you work with on a project.
The post So You Did Not Get the Job: Why You Need Better References appeared first on Cubicle Boss.