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How To Build Your References

Sep 16, 2008
Most often, jobseekers spend a lot of their time writing the perfect resume and cover letters and conducting research while preparing for personal interviews.

The most important part of a job search process - building references - is often neglected. Generally, employers do not conduct a detailed background search; however, they do contact some of your references. Employers are making an investment when they hire you; and, as with all investments, they want to be careful before making a decision.

Having good references will be the deciding factor in your getting the job. In this article, we will discuss how to develop references that will help you succeed in your job search.

Maintain Contact with Colleagues and Business Associates

In your present job you will develop professional relationships and friendships that will last a long time. When there is a slump in the job market, it is likely that a number of highly qualified and experienced individuals who are displaced will be actively seeking jobs.

In the event you are one of them, it is recommended that you start a networking group of your former colleagues. This network of contacts will assist each member in the group in landing a job.

Building Personal Relationships

Building personal relationships with coworkers and associates is necessary to build a strong and resourceful network. Recently unemployed people will have a wealth of information and contacts from their past jobs that can be tapped when looking for a new job.

If your network has ten members and each member has ten contacts, then you have a databank of a hundred people. Through personal relationships, you can increase the number of people that you can network with.

Before Leaving Your Present Job, Ask Your Colleagues If They Will Serve As References

If your colleagues or managers are willing to serve as references, get their contact information and keep in touch with them on the phone or via email from time to time.

Staying in touch with your coworkers and other colleagues will also help you get business for your new employer as your colleagues land new jobs in different companies.

Make sure you have the complete information for each reference and give a copy of your latest resume to all your references. Your references should be aware of your achievements, skills, and the position you are seeking.

Saving Work Samples

Your day-to-day activities and duties should never get in the way of your future plans. Keep samples of your work; this will increase your resume's credibility. This will also help you build a portfolio. It is recommended that you maintain a file of all your samples at home.

Regularly stay in touch with your references. If you are unable to locate them, seek the help of the phone book or the directory assistance service.

In the unlikely event that you don't have any references, you can use clients for whom you have freelanced in the past as references, or organizations that you worked for as a volunteer.

Once your job search is over, be sure to thank your references for their assistance.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for six sigma professionals including, lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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