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The best offense is a good reference

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A few years back I was minding my own business, checking out eBay - er, I mean working - when I received a phone call that went like this:
Me: “Hello?”
Caller: “Hi, I wanted to speak to Kristin. I’m from Megalomerate Inc and I have a resume here from Mary O’Goofus and she listed you as a reference and I wanted to talk to you so you could give me some information about Mary.”
Me: ” ” (sounds of neurons grinding together in brain as I struggle to remember her)
Caller: “Hello?”
Me: “Oh. Yes. Mary.” (At last remembering she was a junior designer I’d worked with 6 years before) “Um. Well. Gosh. Um. Well, she did come to work on time a lot…and um…she made a good coffee, I think…”
Caller: “According to her, she was instrumental in creating an ad campaign at your agency that earned the client a million-plus in revenue.”
Me: “Oh. Really? She was?”
So here’s the thing: references can be good or bad. And normally, we at Ready Resumes don’t recommend including your references in every resume. However, here are 3 things you can do to ensure to help your referees help you!
1. Add information! Forget including a laundry list of names/phone numbers. It’s a good idea to include a short sentence or two summarising who the referee is (’my supervisor at XYZ Company’) and to what he/she will attest (’Jane will attest to my creativity, flexibility and coffee-making skills.’)
2. Fair warning. Give your references warning that someone may call! There’s nothing worse than a bungled reference because your referee wasn’t ready to give it. Sometimes, referees who WOULD have been good can turn out to be bad…if they’re not given some warning beforehand!
3. Keep them up to date. Only include recent references - preferably from companies you worked at in the last 5 years. Older than that and it can be hard for a referee to remember good, meaty details. And finally, make sure your referees’ contact details are correct!
Tags: resume
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Flashcard info:
Author: alicebolingeryn
Main topic: Resume advice
Topic: Resume
School / Univ.: Seattle Central Community College
City: Seattle
Published: 15.04.2019




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