By Rebecca Nyawira
It is always a relief for any job seeker when their CV bags them their much needed interview. However, it is an even greater feeling when the candidate leaves the room with positive nods and beaming smiles from the interviewers.
There is no doubt in your mind that this job is yours. However, one more thing is left for you to finally get that offer letter and that is the interviewer carrying out reference checks.
Think about this
Have you ever given much thought to the people you have included as referees in the CV? Has it ever occurred to you that your referees could either make or break your career success? Well, if not, it is about time you did.
It is important to make sure that your list of references is the right fit. Think about your relationship with this person.
Is it religious or social? If so, scrap it off. Though your pastor, relative or friend could vouch for you socially or religiously, they really may not have much to say about you as a professional and that is what your future employer is looking to find out.
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Professional referees or people you have directly worked with are the best individuals to include in this section.
These are some of the questions you should consider. How closely did you work with this person? How will they explain your skills to the recruitment manager?
So this begs the question. Who should you include in your CV as your referee? Below is a list of people you could consider including;
1. Former Employer
A previous employer preferably your boss is the best choice of a referee who can provide details on your work ethic.
The fact that they have overseen your day to day activities at your work place means that they know the responsibilities you undertook.
One thing to keep in mind is that, you don’t have to include your immediate employer as a referee if you are still working there. This is because, if not careful, this could end up ruining your chances off the new job or to make matters worse you might even lose the one you have.
2. You supervisor
Your direct supervisor could also be a great option. This person could have been your internship supervisor, project supervisor or team leader.
He or she may know who you were as an employee, your capabilities and potential. They also know how fast you delivered, whether you achieved your KPIs and how you related with other team members.
Therefore, it’s up to you to create a good impression at work that will last even when you leave the job.
Someone with whom you worked with in the same team in a previous job is a great fit for a reference. This person does not have to be your boss or your supervisor but someone who knows you professionally and has worked with you.
Can this person vouch for you on your team working skills, how you work under pressure and how you managed the team if you were their team leader and so on?
If you are a recent graduate, your lecturer or project supervisor is also a great person you can have as your referee.
They can point out the skills you picked up during your course work and what kind of student you were.
So there you have it. Now you know who you can include in your list of references. The ideal number of persons to include in this section is three.
It is also important to ask these individuals for permission to have them as your referees lest they are called and asked about you but cannot seem to remember you. It would be very embarrassing if that happened.
Or worse this person maybe did not like you and will not be a good option. You can pick this up lest they say wrong things about you to the recruiter. Do not forget to contact them before the recruiter gets in touch with them to let them know to expect a call or an email if the interview is a successful one.
Lastly, be sure to maintain contact with your list of references. Build a relationship with them. Call them once in a while to buy them coffee or just to find out how they are holding up, lest they think you only get in touch with them when you want them to sing praises about you to an interviewer. Remember, wisely choose your references or them may wisely break you.
The writer is an expert CV writer. For any question or for a CV review, you can get in touch with her on email at email@example.com