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Do You Know What Employers Think of Your References? (Part II)

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As mentioned in Part I of this series, reference checking forms a crucial part of the hiring process. If you are a candidate who is being seriously considered for a position, your potential employer is going to need performance verification from people with whom you have worked. A Monster.com article titled What Employers Want From Job References, states: “It’s common for employers to seek out additional references for new hires — either online or through their own networks.”  They want to make sure you are who you say you are on paper, that you are going to be able to do the job, and that you will be a good fit for their team.

The norm is to ask for names and contact details of at least three individuals who can vouch for you. But not every employer relies 100% on candidate-supplied references. One reason for this is that many employers believe the job references practice is flawed because candidates tend to provide the names of people who will say good things about them. They view these references as  “candidate-supplied super fans”, according to Deborah Aarts, Senior Editor at Profit Magazine. “Candidate-supplied references are usually nothing more than glowing reviews”, she said.

I differ somewhat with this assumption, as the point of selecting references is to get someone who will attest to your background and capabilities. Someone who will, in fact, give you a glowing review. That said, I understand the point of the argument. While these ‘super fans’ may offer some flattering comments about you, employers also want to get a well-rounded perspective on you.

So, what do they do? They turn to other reference sources. These sources include LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. These are ready-made sources where they can gather reference information on the candidate they are considering hiring, as well as on the job references provided. And, because such information is in the public domain, employers and recruiters do not need anybody’s permission to do conduct their due diligence.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that social media is the other job reference source that employers will use to conduct checks. Since that’s the case, your first task is to review your own online brand to see what will show up when someone searches for you. Is your profile consistent with the professional image you want to  portray? Is there someone else with the same name as yours? How is he or she depicted? Is there anything negative that could easily be attributed to you? If so, you need to address it quickly, not only with your potential employer but also with your job references. You don’t want them to discover anything that has nothing to do with you, then make a wrong assumption or cast any doubts about you.

Your second task is to review the online profiles of people you are considering asking to act as your reference. Check their LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other online profiles to see what shows up. Are they portrayed in a good light? You need to make sure that neither you nor your references are displaying behaviour online that could indirectly damage your brand and your chances of getting a job.

The final of the series – Part III – will look at some of the questions employers ask when they contact your job references.

About 

I am Daisy Wright, an award winning certified career management and interview coach, author, and certified resume strategist. I collaborate with executives, managers, and mid-career professionals in all aspects of their career and job search to help them get hired FASTER! I am the Founder and Chief Encouragement Officer of The Wright Career Solution and quite passionate about diversity and inclusion and women's issues.

Website: www.thewrightcareer.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/daisywright
Twitter: @CareerTips2Go

About Daisy

I am Daisy Wright, an award winning certified career management and interview coach, author, and certified resume strategist. I collaborate with executives, managers, and mid-career professionals in all aspects of their career and job search to help them get hired FASTER! I am the Founder and Chief Encouragement Officer of The Wright Career Solution and quite passionate about diversity and inclusion and women's issues.

Website: www.thewrightcareer.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/daisywright
Twitter: @CareerTips2Go