You have successfully gone through the interview process and your dream job is within touching distance pending your potential new employer having a wee chat with your job referees. You nervously await the outcome. What will my referees say?
Did I choose the right referee? Am I going to fall at the final hurdle? These are some of the worrying questions which will more than likely be running through your mind.
Choosing the right referee entails choosing someone who knows your work and someone who holds you in high regard. Personal referees are fine but most employers will expect to be given the option to speak with a selection of previous employers also. Of course, if this is your first job, a personal reference from a teacher/lecturer/sports coach will suffice.
You should also choose someone who holds a position senior enough in their organisation to impress your potential employer, ideally someone you reported into on the chain of command. Otherwise your employer may suspect that they are chatting to your ex lunch buddy.
It goes without saying that the refer you choose should have good interpersonal skills and be able to communicate effectively. If you choose a referee who has poor communication skills their hesitancy or tangential approach may come across to your potential employer that they didn’t really know your work or are hesitant to talk about you as they never held you in high regard.
As a courtesy it is always good practice to give your referees a heads-up that they may be receiving a phone call in the near future in this regard. You should also inform them the details of the position you are on the cusp of landing and politely refresh their memory in regards key projects that you were involved in.
Spending time carefully choosing your job referees is time well spent. Carefully chosen referees help calm your nerves in addition to helping ensure that you cross the finish line and successfully land your new position.