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You Need a Reference – How Do You Reach Out?

Whenever a potential employer is considering bringing a candidate on board, they will examine a myriad of factors like their qualifications, experience, personality, etc. One of the things that can make or break a candidate is whether or not they have quality references. If an employer does decide to contact people from their past, a candidate will want to be sure that they’ll go to bat for them and increase their chances of landing the job. Here are some tips for reaching out to a reference and making the process as smooth as possible.

Let Them Know Prior to Listing on a Resume

The last thing you want to do is include someone as a reference without their knowledge. If they get caught off guard and contacted by a potential employer, they will probably be ill prepared to answer questions and may be annoyed with the fact that you didn’t ask for their consent. This obviously won’t do you any favors, so it’s crucial that you reach out prior to listing them on your resume.

Connect With Them

Even if it’s been a long time, it’s best to make contact and quickly touch base to discuss your situation. Typically, you’ll want to send them an email or give them a phone call. However, if they’re located nearby, you can also stop by in person.

Explain Why You Need Them

From there, you’ll want to briefly explain what’s going on and exactly why you’re seeking them as a reference. Give some context on your job search and clarify how them being a reference will help you. In most cases, a person will take this as a compliment because it shows that you value them. Just be sure to be polite and conscientious. It’s also smart to give them a bit of coaching regarding the specific things you want them to mention, such as your skills, talent, qualifications, etc.

Be Thankful

Last but not least, be sure that you express your gratitude whenever someone agrees to be a reference. They obviously don’t have to do such a thing, so proper etiquette mandates that you’re thankful.

When you break it all down, getting a reference is fairly straightforward. Just be sure to be professional and follow the right steps, and you can obtain the references you need to aid you in your job search.

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