Are you thinking about finding a new job or changing careers completely? If you are, you need to craft a resume that gives you a competitive edge in this tough job market. Although resumes can be complicated and nerve-wracking to develop, they are a lot easier to write than you might think. You just need to know how to avoid the many problems or complications that arise and, for many resume writers, a major problem has to do with references.
There is a good chance that you will be asked by a prospective employer to list references on your resume. These references will typically come in two different formats. They are “personal” references and “professional” references. Also, on average, most companies like to see at least three personal and three professional references on their job applications and resumes to give them some insight into you as a potential employee who may help the company towards continued success.
One of the biggest mistakes that many job seekers make involves listing no references at all. If you are submitting a resume synopsis, that is, a simple resume, you may think you can get away without having any references listed. This is a bad idea because your resume is the first impression you get to make. The more power references you include, the better.
If you are currently still lining up your references, you may want to have the phrase ?references available upon request,? under the heading of references on your resume. This should be used as a last resort or if you are in an emergency situation because, frankly, it makes you appear unprepared or desperate to change jobs. Omitting information on a job application may cause your application to be overlooked so take the time to get those references in advance of submitting your resume.
Another mistake that many job seekers make, in terms of their resume references, is not asking to the reference if you can use them in the first place. In almost all cases, you will find that your references are checked. That is why it is important that you ask each individual that you would like to have listed on a resume or a job application before officially listing them as a reference.
If you have already submitted your job application and resume, without asking first, you will want to let each individual know, as soon as possible, that you used them as a job reference and that they may be receiving a phone call. This is important, as you do not want your references to be caught off guard, as it may impact their responses. Again, this makes you appear to be unprepared.
When a Human Resources person checks references they expect to hear glowing remarks about the applicant so they have carefully crafted questions to probe beneath the surface. This makes choosing the strongest references possible very important. They need to be personal and professional contacts who know you well and who will portray you in the best light. Avoid anyone who might like to point out your shortcomings, thinking they are being honest and doing you a favor.
Finally, when it comes to personal references, you MUST avoid using family members and your Pastor or Minister. These are immediately discounted by Human Resources people. I like to use people I volunteer with on various projects as personal references. It shows community involvement and civic duty. My professional references are chosen based upon the position being applied for. I want professional references who can say I would do well for the company in that position.
The above mentioned tips, known by professional resume writers, are usually overlooked by many job seekers when writing a resume for themselves. By keeping these common tips in mind, you can ensure that your resume stays in a follow-up pile. This should automatically improve your chances of landing the job of your dreams or, at the very least, getting a job interview.