Why You Can Never Have Too Many References

April 4, 2013

Career Advice

Why You Always Need ReferencesYou’ve got the degree. You’ve got the experience. But do you have the references?

When it comes to job offers, sometimes a perfect interview and a great background aren’t enough. You need someone to vouch for you. And it can’t be just anyone. Think of it this way: a candidate with strong, glowing references is much more likely to get an offer over someone who listed a friend and an 8th grade teacher. Don’t lose the tie breaker next time around. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Companies DO actually call references.
Take it seriously when a company asks for emails and phone numbers. Make sure you ask your potential references if it’s okay that you list them before you dish out their information. If you’ve already asked their permission, give a heads up that a call may be headed their way. You can even give a little pep talk. For example, “They really like that I have XYZ experience so be sure to touch on that!”

2. References must be recent and relevant.
And that is why you can never have enough references! Along each step of your career, you must always network and make connections. Even if you’re not looking for a job right now, you should still be thinking about who could be a great reference for you when the time arises. Hint: it’s the people who know you and your work ethic.

3. Don’t cross the line.
Here’s another reason why you need an arsenal of references — some companies have policies that forbid their current employees from recommending others. That means you could find yourself out of luck, unless one of your former coworkers has already left the company. Also, be aware that your current coworkers might not feel comfortable referring you at a new company. Searching for a job while you have a job is a solo act, so be sure to have some past references up your sleeve.
 Image by Joel Kramer.

About Spectrum Brands Careers

Spectrum Brands is a global $5 Billion Consumer Products company headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin. While you may not be familiar with the Spectrum Brands name, there is no doubt you will recognize some of our brands.

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  1. The 4 Things You Need In Your Job Search Toolkit | Spectrum Brands Careers Blog - April 19, 2013

    […] References We’ve made it clear that you can never have too many references. They’re especially important for recent college graduates who may lack experience but who […]

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