References: To be or not to be?
It is the part of a job application we all dread - references. The excitement of a new job prospect can be dampened by thoughts like: ☼ What will my previous/current manager say about me?
☼ I’m too overwhelmed, I’ll just put ‘references available on request’ ☼ I can’t use my current employer, because they will know I’m job hunting ☼ My references are old which means I can’t use them You are not alone in feeling this way; I have a lot of clients raise these concerns with me. So I thought I would put a few pointers here to help guide others #weareinthistogether Personally, I am a not a fan of 'references available on request.' Although it might be out of courtesy to give your references notice, or to protect their details, depending on what mood the recruiter is in, it can be a fast-lane to the ‘too hard basket.’ If recruiters are receiving hundreds of applications, it is unlikely that they will take the time to reach out to you and request your reference’s names and numbers. Rather, they will turn to a candidate who already has. The idea that references ‘expire’ (for example, you worked for them 5 years ago) is also a myth. Whether you worked for someone 2, 3, 5, or even 10 years ago, that point in time reflects your working abilities. Abilities and experience don’t ‘expire’. Word of caution: If your work ethic wasn’t great that many years ago, then I would suggest finding a more recent contact. An alternative to providing references, is to include a written reference. I have invented a template that you can email to your manager to ‘fill in the gaps.’ The idea behind this is to save your manager time (as they are already busy enough doing manager things). Simply attach the written reference to the end of your resumé. At a quick glance this is essentially a reference check without the phone-call, and can be your fast-lane to the ‘you’re hired basket.’
At the end of the day (and this opinion piece) you need to be comfortable with what you are submitting to recruiters; whether you include references or not. Keep kicking your career goals, Simone x