Here are some guidelines to follow when providing professional references to a potential future employer:
Follow the employer’s instructions regarding references
– Many job applicants often wonder if they should always include professional references on their resume or application. A good rule of thumb is if
a job posting doesn’t request references, then don’t list any references on your resume. When a posting does require references, follow the
instructions exactly as listed on the job application. Adhering to an employer’s instructions is always the first step to showing you’re a
competent and detail-oriented applicant.
Choose references wisely
– Obviously the most important step to selecting a good professional reference is, well, selecting a good professional reference. But which
individuals from your work history would make the best references? Your professional references should all have the following qualities:
Genuinely want to see you succeed and do well in your career
Able to answer tough questions about you on-the-fly
Witnessed you demonstrate both hard skills (specific, teachable abilities) and soft skills (interacting effectively with other people) in a
Well-spoken and able to clearly communicate your strengths, expertise, and professionalism in detail
- Genuinely want to see you succeed and do well in your career
Avoid workplace conflict
– If you haven’t announced to your current employer that you’re looking for a new position elsewhere, carefully consider who you list as a
reference if any of those references work with you currently. Make sure your coworker can be trusted to keep your search confidential until you
decide to make the announcement in your own time.
Ask for permission
– Reaching out to your professional references before listing them on a resume or application is not only a polite professional courtesy, but also
gives you the opportunity to briefly update them on your recent work history and goals. While most individuals you consider as a reference will be
willing to help you out, have a few extra potentials in mind in case one of them politely declines or expresses hesitation. Never make someone feel
obligated to serve as your professional reference – their hesitation might be interpreted as negativity when your interviewer gives them a call,
skewing your chances of landing the job.
Get updated contact info –
Be sure to get updated contact information for all of your references, and verify their information is up-to-date before submitting your resume or
application. For each reference, include the person’s name, job title, relationship to you (co-worker, manager, etc.), company name, address, and
contact info (at least one phone number and an email address, if possible). Going through the trouble of lining up the perfect reference is wasted
time if they can’t be reached.
ETS Dental is a Dental Recruiting firm specializing in finding and placing General Dentists, Dental Specialists, and Dental Staff throughout the United States. www.etsdental.com