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The Importance of Professional References

The Importance of Professional References

Managing Your References Efficiently

Several recruiters may believe that asking for professional recommendations are an obsolete and outdated process. However, as several hiring processes move online, it can be difficult to gain a perspective of a candidate solely based on their online interview performance. In such situations, understanding the importance of professional references can undoubtedly facilitate the recruitment process. It can be particularly useful when assessing a candidate’s ability to perform the job adequately, and blend in comfortably with the organisation’s corporate culture. Not only can it help weed out faux professional experiences listed on the resume, but also gain an understanding of a candidate’s personality traits, dependability, disposition, abilities and mentality. Therefore, candidates must pay more attention than before in which references they include.

A general rule of thumb is to have three referents. An odd number of answers can help with the decision-making process for the recruiter, as it negates the possibility of receiving completely conflicting responses. Adding too much may take away from recruiters focusing on the important parts of your profile. Also, it can be extremely confusing to choose. Therefore, sticking to a handful is the best way to go.

Secondly, it is always best to include the latest employers over ones that are dated several years ago. This gives a clearer idea of the role of the candidate in recent years and therefore is the most accurate. However, refrain from adding the current employer’s details as it could sour the relationship with one’s current boss which will cause tensions in case of staying back in the current company.

When considering who to include as references, candidates often forget about possibilities other than former employers. While this is the most important, new graduates or candidates who do not have a significant amount of professional experience can add former teachers, colleagues, advisors, supervisors, or even clients. These people must have seen you in a position of responsibility and therefore can judge your worth as an employee in this company.

Lastly, many candidates believe that simply having LinkedIn recommendations can be substituted for references, however this is not the case. Candidates must include references who can be contacted to ask personalized and relevant questions based on the job. LinkedIn recommendations are still something the recruiter will have a look at when checking your profile as they often give an overview of who you are and your personality in the work environment.

With the help of these tips and tricks, applicants are sure to be one step ahead compared to before in securing their dream job by the simple understanding the importance of professional references.

References :

  1. Are Reference Checks Still Relevant? 3 Effective Tactics For Recruiting The New Generation Of Talent, Feb 16, 2019, Forbes.