Contacting references is a traditional part of nearly any company’s hiring process, allowing hiring managers to learn more about your capabilities, mentality, and personality. That’s why, when you’re searching for scientist jobs near me, ensuring you’re prepared to provide references when the time comes is essential.
However, you need to make sure that you’re not just listing anyone as a reference. Instead, you want to be strategic. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here’s a look at who, when, and how to ask someone to become a reference and how to manage your reference list.
How to Choose References
Generally speaking, you want to provide contact details for other professionals you’ve worked directly with recently. Often, those individuals are best equipped to discuss your capabilities, making them better choices overall.
In the best-case scenario, you’d include current colleagues, managers, or subordinates. However, if you need to keep your job search discreet, you may need to select former coworkers or managers that are still part of your network.
Additionally, if you don’t have much work experience, changing course is wise. You may instead want to list former college professors, teachers, club leaders, coaches, volunteer job supervisors, or similar people who can attest to your capabilities.
As you consider your options, it’s essential to only include people who can speak well of you and that have good reputations. Otherwise, the reference may clue the hiring manager into less-than-ideal details, or you may be viewed poorly by association.
Preparing a Reference List
Once you know who’d you like to include as a reference, you’ll want to time the request. Generally, it’s best to ask before your first in-person (or in-depth video) interview. Traditionally, at the end of that interview, a hiring manager will request references. By gathering yours up before that meeting, you can provide them immediately when the hiring manager asks for them.
Before you add anyone to your reference list, you need to get their permission. Being blindsided by a reference call or email isn’t ideal, as the person won’t have a chance to prepare what they’d like to share.
Let the person know you’re seeking out new opportunities and ask if they’d be comfortable acting as a reference and could share positive details about you. If they say yes, give them a copy of your resume, an overview of the target job, and offer to go over any details they may find helpful. Additionally, request their preferred phone number and email address, ensuring you can include them in the reference list. If they decline, thank them for considering it and move on to someone else.
Managing Your References
In many cases, it’s best to make managing your references a regular occurrence. That ensures your list remains up-to-date and relevant, making it easier if you need to launch a job search down the line.
Make sure you remain connected to your references and support them professionally whenever possible. If someone provides a reference, thank them for doing so, as that increases the odds they’ll be happy to serve as a reference later.
Finally, don’t be afraid to adjust your reference list based on the role you want to land. When you’re interviewing for positions, certain references may work better in some situations than others. Since that’s the case, add or remove contact information based on the job, ensuring those who are on the list can increase your odds of landing that particular position.
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