When putting together a job application, what most people rarely pay attention to is the referee section on the CV.
It is important to note that who you chose as a referee can break or make you. Therefore, here are rules to follow when choosing referees.
1. Choose someone who is familiar with your work
Most people would rather chose someone they are close to, maybe a family member to act as a referee.
However, choosing someone who understands your work can go a long way. This is because this is the person who knows your strengths and weaknesses in the professional light.
Therefore, chooses someone who is senior and one that you have worked with as opposed to choosing a peer.
Related: Who Should I Choose As My Referees?
2. Chooses someone who thinks highly of you
This is not rocket science, but if you want to have a chance for any job, you have to choose the right referee.
Choose someone who thinks highly of you and is confident about your work. This is someone who can recommend you to someone else.
So don’t go choosing that manager from a previous job, who you always conflicted with.
3. Choose referees from different fields
The one mistake that most job seekers make is to choose referees from one field. This may be academic or personal.
Have a variety of options. Pick one academic, professional and may be personal unless you are a fresh graduate looking for your first job.
In this case, have maybe your lecturers or dean of student act as your referees.
4. Tailor your references to fit the job you are applying for
Just as is the case when you are writing a CV, tailoring your referees to fit the job is also important. Understand that some referees work best for certain positions.
For instance, if you are applying for an accounting job, chose someone who understands and has worked with you in that particular field.
5. Contact your referees before
It is common knowledge that when you chose a referee, you have to give them a heads up. Inform them that you have used them as referees, in case they are contacted by a potential employer.
It doesn’t matter whether you have used this person for all the jobs you have ever applied for. Inform them in advance when you make any job application.
6. Chooses someone who communicates well
They say that the first impression accounts for everything. The way your referee communicates when contacted will either work towards or against you.
Therefore, be careful about who you chose. Find someone who is easily approachable and can communicate in professional manner.
Bonus point: Choose a referee who is readily available upon request. You don’t want to have someone who never picks their calls or responds to emails as a referee.
7. Brief your referees about the job you have applied for
After choosing who you want to act as your referee and informing them that you have decided to use them, don’t just stop there.
Give then a brief of the job you have applied for, your responsibilities and skills the employer is looking for.
If they’ve worked with you, they will be in a position to throw in a few good words about your capability to execute your duties if given the chance.
When it comes to choosing who to include as a referee, always go for someone you know cannot ruin the career you are trying so hard to build. And stop believing that myth about how employers don’t contact referees because they do.
Related: 3 Things Employers Ask Your Referees