Question From The Job Seeker

I have been working in my professional field for last seven years. Just recently, due to the effects of the ongoing economic crunch, I lost my job. Since then, I have been seeking an employment opportunity and have already sent my resume for some vacant positions. However, during this job hunt, I have discovered that having a reference or recommendation from the previous employer is very important in landing a job.

Actually, I have worked in several companies during this seven-year journey, and I am sure that all my previous employers can vouch for my professionalism and expertise in the field with complete confidence. However, I am concerned as how should I ask for a recommendation or reference from my previous employer. Need your help!

Abdullah Qamar

Answer From Rozee Team

Dear Abdullah,

No doubt, one of the most important assets for a job-seeker is the professional references. After spending hours constructing a powerful resume, that is the perfect blend of enthusiasm and professionalism, filling up the ‘Reference’ part may seem like an easy part of your job search. However, a little courtesy and carefulness is required to ensure that your references are prepared to give the best possible recommendation of your abilities.

Following are the things that you should keep in consideration whenever you seek a reference for your resume:

•    The most important thing is to ask for a reference from the people who have good things to say about you. When asking someone for a permission to include them in your reference list in your resume, check if they seem enthusiastic about acting as a reference. If they seem reluctant, it may be because that they have some concerns about your job performance, or they are concerned about their own ability to adequately describe your skills. If your potential referee does not respond positively and with enthusiasm, you should not add them in your reference list and find someone else to fill the place.

•    Get proper permission before naming someone as a reference in your resume. Even if you are sure that the person would agree to refer you, it is still essential to ask his/her permission beforehand. If the referee does not know about what they would say about you to the potential employer, they may not be able to describe your talents. Moreover, some referees may feel insulted that you did not ask permission before giving their contact information to a stranger.

•    Always provide your referee a copy of the position (description of the job) you applied for and the latest copy of your resume. Your referee should know about your professional aim; it is also very helpful to have the entire picture.

•    Ask your reference person to mention some specific skills, competencies and accomplishments in his/her letter of recommendation or when a prospective employer inquires about you. These specific skills and competencies should be related to the particular job and the field in which you are applying so that it is easy for the employer to judge you better.

•    Last, but, of course, not the least, always thank your referee for letting you add his/her name in the list of references in your resume. Also, always be ready to return the favor in a suitable manner. Similarly, keep your reference writer in the loop, either you did or did not get the job. If you do, write another thank you note to the referee.

•    Keep in touch with your referee regarding any progress in your job search. As you advance in your job search, keep your references up-to-date, regardless of the outcome of the search. There are chances that if you inform the referee that you did not get the job, he/she might be able to inform you about another good opportunity.

Many job seekers believe that during the recruitment process potential employers do not ask for references anymore. Even if they do, they do not call them and seek their responses about you; well, neither is correct. The practice of reference-checking is still a serious factor in hiring. A reference-check can reveal information that a candidate excludes or even lies about in an interview or a resume. By following the mentioned tips, a job seeker can add a suitable number of references who will vouch for his competence and will result in landing the job. Always make sure that you and your reference person agree on your work history and your personal relationship. Letters of recommendation and mentioning of references in the resume can lift up a candidate to a top choice of the potential employer. It is important that you manage your recommendations and references carefully and use them in the best possible way.

Good Luck!

Rozee Team

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