Yes, hiring managers give weight to your resume and to your interview; however, one average or less-than-average references and your chance of getting the job going down the drain.

The answer then of course is to make sure you have quality verifiable references.

A reference check is an objective evaluation of your past job performances based on conversations with people that you have worked with over the past few years.

Treating references as an afterthought is a careless approach to your job search and it is a sign of carelessness to your potential employer. It shows them that you don’t care and that’s the opposite of what you want them to think. The best list of references is a mixture of employers, employees, associates, coaches, teachers, co-workers, etc.

Selecting the Best References:

  • Your references should be from positive people. This is important because individuals that tend to dwell on the negative, even if they are thrilled to be a reference for you, will put a negative twist on everything they say.
  • Your references should be both expecting to be contacted and easy to contact. A company is likely to get frustrated if they have to allocate more than a couple of days trying to contact your references. Often it is always a warning sign when a reference is taken aback  to be contacted.
  • List the current references (at least the past 5 years) and be sure to list someone that has worked directly with you.
  • The absolute best people to list are previous managers and co-workers because they will be able to verbalize on your accomplishments, work ethic, attitude and more.

Every employer understands that candidates are often dealing with delicate and confidential situation, which means that references can be a touchy situation. Let the references know  who they might be contacted by and when. And it does not hurt to let them know what position you have applied for and what type of questions they might ask.