A lot can go into a hiring manager’s decision of whether or not to bring you on as their next employee, including your skill set, work experience, personality, and professionalism. While a lot of emphasis and focus is often placed on the above items, sometimes the deciding factor may come down to how effectively your references portray you as the best fit for the hiring manager’s need.
Here are some guidelines to follow when providing professional references to a potential future employer:
- Follow the employer’s instructions regarding references – Many job applicants often wonder if they should always include professional references on their resume or application. A good rule of thumb is if a job posting doesn’t request references, then don’t list any references on your resume. When a posting does require references, follow the instructions exactly as listed on the job application. Adhering to an employer’s instructions is always the first step to showing you’re a competent and detail-oriented applicant.
- Choose references wisely – Obviously the most important step to selecting a good professional reference is, well, selecting a good professional reference. But which individuals from your work history would make the best references? Your professional references should all have the following qualities:
- Genuinely want to see you succeed and do well in your career
- Able to answer tough questions about you on-the-fly
- Witnessed you demonstrate both hard skills (specific, teachable abilities) and soft skills (interacting effectively with other people) in a work environment
- Well-spoken and able to clearly communicate your strengths, expertise, and professionalism in detail
- Avoid workplace conflict – If you haven’t announced to your current employer that you’re looking for a new position elsewhere, carefully consider who you list as a reference if any of those references work with you currently. Make sure your coworker can be trusted to keep your search confidential until you decide to make the announcement in your own time.
- Ask for permission – Reaching out to your professional references before listing them on a resume or application is not only a polite professional courtesy, but also gives you the opportunity to briefly update them on your recent work history and goals. While most individuals you consider as a reference will be willing to help you out, have a few extra potentials in mind in case one of them politely declines or expresses hesitation. Never make someone feel obligated to serve as your professional reference – their hesitation might be interpreted as negativity when your interviewer gives them a call, skewing your chances of landing the job.
- Get updated contact info – Be sure to get updated contact information for all of your references, and verify their information is up-to-date before submitting your resume or application. For each reference, include the person’s name, job title, relationship to you (co-worker, manager, etc.), company name, address, and contact info (at least one phone number and an email address, if possible). Going through the trouble of lining up the perfect reference is wasted time if they can’t be reached.
Occasionally check in with your references and make sure their contact info hasn’t changed. If you know a professional reference you listed has been contacted by your potential employer, it’s OK to thank them with one quick email or phone call for their willingness to help you out. Doing so will reiterate your professionalism and will leave your reference with positive feelings toward you that could potentially shine through in their next conversation with a hiring manager.
ETS Dental is a Dental Recruiting firm specializing in finding and placing General Dentists, Dental Specialists, and Dental Staff throughout the United States. www.etsdental.com
Beyond the Salary – Intangible Benefits for Dentists to Consider
Sep 27, 2021
When looking at changing practices, financial compensation is often one of the first things to be compared. It's easy and quantifiable. As you evaluate and compare differen...
Reasons to Use a Recruiter in a Candidate-Driven Market
Sep 1, 2021
We'll be the first to admit it's currently a hot employment market, with demand for qualified associates at unprecedented levels all across the country. If you're a dentist lo...
Two New Factors to Consider in Your Job Search
Aug 20, 2021
The employment market for dentists has never been better. That's good. But there are some things to consider that have been less important in previous years. The package, f...
Maybe It’s Time to Go – 7 Signs to Start Job Hunting
May 28, 2020
Every job has its good days and bad, but what are the signs you need to be polishing up your CV? At ETS, we work with practices and candidates every day, and these are the thi...
Job Seekers: It’s Time to Strengthen Your Personal Brand
May 19, 2020
Dental practices across the country are going to take some time to rebound in the wake of the COVID-19 shutdowns. This will surely delay or slow down the hiring of Associates,...
Is a Personal Brand Website Right for Me?
Mar 9, 2020
There was a time that you literally had to be a computer scientist to create a website promoting your expertise. With the rise of Wix, Squarespace, Wordpress, and other platfo...
Looking for a New Job While Keeping Your Current Job
Feb 6, 2020
Nearly everyone agrees that the best time to look for a job is when you are gainfully employed. It can be tricky, but here are a few hints. 1) Don’t share with co-workers ...
6 Good Reasons to Look for a New Opportunity
Jan 27, 2020
At some point, virtually every dental associate finds themselves wondering if it’s time to seek greener professional pastures. Setting aside the justifiable trigger issues s...
Reasons Why 2020 May be the Best Time to Find a New Job
Dec 23, 2019
As each year comes to a close, it is natural to take inventory of the things we’ve accomplished over the past twelve months. At the same time, we get to look forward to what...
How to Keep Your Job Search Productive During the Holidays
Dec 18, 2019
From November to January, most of us have about a million distractions competing for our attention. Between the mashed potato-induced comas, wrapping gifts and ringing in the ...