One of the most overlooked and underused tools in the career transition process, strong references and testimonials can open doors for interviews and be the determining factor between two candidates under consideration for the same position.
Contemporary reference portfolios add immediate credibility to your candidacy prior to the interview by reinforcing information found on the resume or LinkedIn profile. We recommend references, testimonials, and letters of recommendation be included (when possible) with your resume and cover letter to strengthen you candidacy and secure an interview.
Hiring Managers and recruiters have one goal: hire the best person - the first time - in the most efficient manner possible. How well they execute this task reflects on their reputation. Selecting the wrong candidate can diminish their standing within an organization, and the process of releasing a new hire that isn’t working out as planned, or unexpectedly finding something in a background check can be costly, time consuming, embarrassing, and may even present financial and legal problems for the company. There are many downside issues a hiring manager may face when selecting a candidate.
Although it may seem obvious, one of the most important steps a candidate can take to secure an interview is to present the hiring manager with as much information upfront reinforcing your value, your reputation and credibility. Hiring managers and recruiters don’t want to sort through a hundred resumes anymore than anyone else. Let them know when reading your resume, cover letter and reference portfolio that they don’t have to look further.
Diversify Your Reference List
Example of a Contemporary Reference Portfolio:
Ever think you aced the interview and the job offer was a sure thing, only to be told the position went to someone else? Or worse, you never heard from the employer. Not only is this deflating, but it can be psychologically paralyzing and stall-out a job search.
The good news is that you stood out enough for the employer to call you in for an interview. People can lose out on jobs for any number of reasons other than technical qualifications. Sometimes it's just as simple as the employer "clicking" with another candidate and who the employer may feel is a better cultural fit with the organization. Nevertheless, employers are almost always going to google a candidate's name, check their LinkedIn profile and generally investigate what comes up online. It may seem like common sense, but before launching any job search, everyone should review their social media sites and ensure none contain any potentially excluding information or pictures.
Conduct a Reference Check on Yourself
Before launching a new career search, review records and if there are any discrepancies (dates of employment, graduation dates, licenses, etc.), fix them before a prospective employer finds them. Here are a few other items to check:
If a pattern develops of doing well in interviews, but not receiving job offers, it may be beneficial to gain a better understanding (or reassurance) of other issues that may be entering the decision-making process.
Did you leave your last employer of less than good terms? File a wrongful termination suit? Feel someone may be providing negative feedback to a prospective employer?
If so, and you believe it may be impeding employment opportunities, hiring a professional specializing in background and reference checks may be an option to consider. There are several qualified firms specializing in this field, and we're providing a link to one firm as a possible source for additional information.*
*We are not affiliated with this firm (Allison & Taylor, Inc.) in any manner: