2 Mistakes Not to Make with Your References

Good references are imperative to landing new IT jobs.  Here are two mistakes that IT recruiters see candidates make far too often.

Don’t give references that you haven’t spoken to recently.  When technical recruiters and potential employers call your references, you want them to be prepared to take the call.  Reach out to your references when you start you job hunt.  Ask them if they would vouch for you (or vouch for you again if they have before).  You’ll want to share all of the kinds of roles you’re interested in pursuing.  While this is a courtesy to your references, it will also make you look like you’re organized, prepared for the job search, and you understand professional norms.  Employers will know you didn’t follow the usual procedure most other candidates do if your references answer the phone and are confused—or worse yet, don’t remember you.  (It’s also worth noting that you want to look at least somewhat memorable to potential employers!  Who wants to hire the candidate who didn’t even make a dent on their reference’s radars?!)

Not reaching out to your references is also a mistake because it’s a missed opportunity to help them  give you a really powerful recommendation.  Your references will do a better job if you share the kinds of experience or qualities you’d like them to highlight when they speak to your  IT staffing firms and potential employers.  Are you applying for jobs requiring customer service skills?  Ask your references to mention it if they have a positive impression of your customer service skills.  Need them to highlight your debugging abilities?  Let them know before any IT recruiting agencies call.  You can’t control what a reference says, but you can provide them the info to be as helpful to you as possible.

Don’t give a misleading or fake reference.  Sometimes IT recruiting firms find that candidates will give references who they haven’t actually ever work directly with.  Some candidates will go so far as to give the names and numbers of people who know them and pose as former coworkers or managers.  Giving deceitful or blatantly fake references is the worst mistake you could make as a candidate.  IT staffing companies usually decide never to work with a candidate again if they do this.  Employers will usually blacklist you.  Being anything less than truthful in your job search will definitely hurt you chances of landing your next role.


Job search references
Haven’t talked to your references recently? Fix that before your job search! Photo credit: bssmadeit via Pixabay.


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AVID (Applications, Voice, Internet, Data) Technical Resources is a leading Information Technology recruiting company. Specializing in placing contract and permanent personnel in both Infrastructure Support and Applications Development positions, AVID has a national presence supporting clients ranging from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies. Headquartered in Boston, MA, AVID has achieved tremendous growth since the firm's inception in 2003. This has triggered numerous national awards and recognition, such as being named to Inc. 500 Magazine's list of 5,000 Fastest Growing Privately-held Companies in the US in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Additionally, the firm boasts of having more than 100 five-star reviews on Google from clients and candidates who rave about their experience and interaction with the firm's recruiters.

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