During a job search, references are every bit as important as a sharp résumé and strong interview. Here, Peter K. Studner shares five important things to do when organizing your references.
Each time you make it past the résumé-review stage and interview with a potential employer, the meeting seems to go really well. But then—crickets. If you do hear from the employer, it’s only to say that they’ve decided to go with another candidate. As you wearily send out application after application, you just can’t figure out what’s going wrong. Peter K. Studner has an idea: One of your references might inadvertently be derailing your job search campaign.
“When a potential employer checks your references, it’s because they’re serious about hiring you,” says Studner, author of Super Job Search IV: The Complete Manual for Job Seekers & Career Changers (Jamenair Ltd., 2015, ISBN: 978-0-938-6670-6-3, $26.95, www.SuperJobSearch.com). “And especially in today’s competitive market, a single lukewarm reference can kill your candidacy. The good news is, by choosing your references thoughtfully and talking with them before giving out their contact information, you can guide the process in your favor.”