Who to Ask for a Reference? Make Sure It’s the Right Person
When you are looking for a new job, hiring managers are going to be asking for references. There are some do’s and don’ts to getting recommendation letters and using people as a reference.
“You want people who are qualified to write a recommendation about you,” said Alan Hubbard, NTI’s Chief Operating Officer. “It can be former managers or people you worked with who have more experience than you or from your academic career. You want to avoid family and friends, because a hiring manager might think they are too biased.” NTI@Home helps Americans with disabilities find at-home-jobs with free training and job placement services.
1. Identify people you want to ask to write the letter for you, considering their qualifications and how they will be able to write about you working or with them. Indeed.com suggests you have five to 10 potential candidates.
2. Make sure you reach out to the people on your list, getting their permission to use them as a reference and explain your job searching situation to them.
“No one wants to be surprised when they get a call from an employer asking them about someone,” said Hubbard. “You are putting them on the spot, and they haven’t had a chance to formulate their thoughts about you.
3. Tell the people you are asking for a reference from what you have been up to and what kind of positions you are looking for and the skills you will need for the job. A bonus of this could be your references knows of a job opening or someone they can put you in touch with.
“You want to prepare them for the possible questions they could be asked by the recruiter or hiring manager,” said Hubbard “You want to tell them the name of the person who will be calling them. People screen their calls carefully and if a name or number comes up, they don’t recognize, it will be easy to let it go to voice mail.”
4. Another suggestion, according to Indeed.com is to send a current resume to the person you are asking for a reference from. This will help them become more familiar with what you have done since working for or with them.
5. When you receive the letter of recommendation or the person agrees to be a reference, make sure you say thank you to them. People like helping others, especially find jobs, and this is a nice practice to make sure you are following.
“Remember these people are volunteering their time and effort to help you get a job,” said Hubbard. “They are an important part of the team who is working with you to get you a new job.”
(NTI@Home helps Americans with disabilities find at-home jobs with free training and job placement services. You can register for free at www.ntiathome.org.)
“No one wants to be surprised when they get a call from an employer asking them about someone. You are putting them on the spot, and they haven’t had a chance to formulate their thoughts about you…”