You’ve nailed the interview and your new company is keen to get you started but first things first. They need to see your job references.
In the surveying industry, building a strong reputation and making the right connections is key to getting on. Choosing the right people to be your referees is just the start of this process.
We've answered some of the most frequently asked questions about job references.
How do I choose the right referees?
Look for referees who have a good reputation within the surveying industry or your new company will respect. By the same token, your referee needs to know you well enough to talk about you as a person, not just your skills and project work. So, although putting the CEO of your current company as a referee may look good, if they don’t know you that well, it won’t give you any advantage.
Plus, it may sound obvious, but ask your potential referees if they’re happy to take on the role. Also, make sure that you have their most up-to-date contact details so they are easy to contact. Simple, but important!
Do I need to include references on my CV?
Keeping references on your CV can make life easier for yourself and the hiring manager who’s processing your application. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Are your references completely relevant to the job you’re applying for? Instead, have four or five references that you can call upon for different types of applications.
- Are your referees well known in the surveying industry? If not, maybe wait until you’re asked for them. Often, they take up valuable space on your CV that you could fill with your experience and skills. Instead, you can put 'References available on request at the end of your CV.
- Are your references’ details up to date? If not, this could be frustrating for the hiring manager and potentially mean they discard your application.
Can I use my LinkedIn recommendations as job references?
The questions the hiring manager will most likely ask won't be covered by the recommendations on your LinkedIn profile. However, your potential new employer will no doubt have looked at your profile before even asking for an interview. Getting excellent LinkedIn recommendations should be a priority when thinking about looking for a new role.
What should I ask my referees to say?
You can’t stop a referee from saying what they think (which is why it’s important for you to know them well). Also, you won't be shown the questions that the hiring manager will be asking.
Most questions tend to be factual, such as job title and length of tenure in role. Questions may include information around sick leave or punctuality. As long as they have worked with you closely and maybe know you a little bit outside of the work environment, they’ll be able to answer most of the questions. Other questions could cover experience in certain areas and aptitude.
Let your referees know in advance that they’re likely to be contacted, by who and for what type of job application. This means they aren’t put on the spot and know the request is valid.
I’ve got my referees, what happens next?
Whether their details are on your CV or you’ve given them to the hiring manager directly, they’ll handle the process of collecting your references, which can take one of two weeks.