“I’m having problems with my references. Some of the individuals on my current reference sheet are no longer reachable. What can I do?”
Keeping a list of fresh references for prospective employers is ideal, but sometimes, the seemingly easy task can be difficult to complete.
Over time, people move on and leave employers.
One solution is to request a letter of recommendation from each direct superior you’ve worked with.
This way, you can keep your stack of referral letters in a file or in your brag book. Be sure to check out this post on how to leverage brag books.
Taking this small step gives you an added bit of insurance should your former superiors move on, change industries, or opt for retirement.
Another great solution is to connect with superiors using well-known networking sites, with LinkedIn being the most popular.
Don’t just connect, also request recommendations via LinkedIn as well — so an approved and live recommendation will “live” over time regardless of what happens to your former colleagues.
Should you still wish to provide a printed, more traditional list of references, complete with up-to-date information, LinkedIn can help there too.
Simply visit “My Connections” and click on your connection’s record.
This way, you get access to phone numbers, email addresses, and other contact information your connections have made available.
Imagine this scenario: you got the interview, and it seemed to go well. The interviewer says, “We just need to check your references and we’ll get back to you.”
But the next time you talk to the interviewer, there’s a different tone — they “decided to go another direction.”
Uh-oh, there may be a problem with your references.
Are your references sabotaging your job search?
Even a “friendly” reference may unintentionally create problems for you. So, hire a reference checking service should you have any concerns about the references you’re using. Here’s a list of 3 reference checking companies to consider.