By Jeff Shane, Reference Checks Expert
New Format and Content for “Reference List” is Game Changer for Job Seekers
If you’re starting off 2013 with the resolution to change or improve your employment status, there are some new trends to be aware of as you polish your resume and references. The traditional methods used in job-hunting are changing, and the principals at Allison & Taylor have recently identified 5 new trends to be familiar with to get the best results from your efforts.
1. Your references will become more, not less, valuable.
Though many people treat their reference list as an afterthought, it is of the utmost importance. Your resume will get an interview, but it’s the report your references provide that will win you the job in a close race with another qualified candidate. Although the job market is poised to grow, hiring managers generally have a surplus of eligible candidates and will take the time to carefully examine candidate’s credentials. It has become critically important that your reference list is well thought out, with full contact information, and presented as a matching and professional addendum to your resume.
2. The format, content and presentation of the reference list offered to prospective new employers have changed.
Whereas the standard approach was to offer a simple list of references and their contact information, savvy job seekers are now modernizing their reference lists to make a powerful statement of their qualifications for the new position.
An effective reference list will identify those attributes the references can attest to, an approach that offers several benefits to the job seeker. It allows them to further showcase their abilities and achievements with former employers, and to tie those qualifications in with the key job elements sought by prospective new employers. When offered to a potential employer - e.g., at the close of an interview - a well-crafted reference document will make a powerful and proactive statement on the job seeker's behalf.
Let’s suppose you are vying for a management position with a major hotel chain – consider utilizing a format such as this one.
3. Employers may use your peers & subordinates as references.
Don’t assume that employers will only check with Human Resources or your former supervisor for reference purposes. Especially in this challenging economy, employers feel they have the luxury of checking less-traditional references such as peers/co-workers.
This can work to your advantage if you strive for successful work relationships; associates like a supportive second-level supervisor or a matrix manager(s) can be key advocates on your behalf, and might be more supportive than traditional references like immediate supervisors. (Note: A prospective employer does not require your permission to check any reference).
4. Beware workplace bullies - they are still prevalent (but not unstoppable)
Despite negative press about bad bosses (or coworkers), bullies still abound and can adversely affect your current or future employment. Workplace bullying tactics can range from the covert (behind-the-back sniping) to the blatant (public humiliation or physical abuse), but they are unquestionably harmful in all forms. Luckily, you do have recourse if you are experiencing this issue at work.
5. Employers will increase their use of social media and technology tools in assessing your references.
Many employers are utilizing electronic reference systems, which rank an employee’s performance on a scale. While it is comprehensive and factual, it has the downside of limiting the opportunity employers have to favorably assess you. Be sure your have negotiated the terms of your reference upon departure from the company. Also, review your social media sites (LinkedIn, etc.) to ensure a prospective employer is not viewing any inappropriate or private commentary about you.
In summary, ensure that your resume and references are powerful assets on your behalf, and you’ll be much more likely to find success in your employment ventures this year.
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About Allison & Taylor:
Allison & Taylor, Inc. is a global firm with 27 years of experience in professional reference checking and employment verification.
Since 1984, the company has been featured on CBSNews.com, NETSHARE.com, the Wall Street Journal, NationJob.com, Glamour Magazine, New Woman Magazine, Worth Magazine, the Detroit News, the St. Petersburg Times, and has been rated a "Top Executive Site" in Forbes magazine.
They are open 7/24 for orders via our Web site at www.AllisonTaylor.com.
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