Points of reference

Having problems landing that dream job? Highly educated, experienced but getting zero offers or interviews? It could be that one of your references isn’t giving you your due. With the competition in the labour market fierce, it’s time to get on the case!

Statistics reveal that many employers remove one in five applicants from consideration after speaking to applicants’ referees. ‘The reference is one of those things to help a potential employee to really differentiate themselves,’ says Robert Hosking, executive director of recruitment agency Office Team.

Bob Hosking counsels that the key thing is to be in touch with your referees throughout the application process. And that’s not just letting them know that they’re going to be used as referees but planning with them what they will say – almost like a post-job review.

’Keep the person in the loop,’ says Heidi Allison, managing director for Allison & Taylor Inc., a reference-checking company based in Rochester, Michigan. ‘Think about etiquette.’

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