Are you hunting for new IT jobs? If so, you probably know that one of the best ‘tools’ in your job search toolbox is your references. A good reference can help you land the job, just like a bad reference can ensure you lose it! IT recruiters have certainly seen candidates ace the interview, but lose the job because their references weren’t good. While most people know how important references are to their IT job search, they often skip a crucial step: writing thank you notes to their references. Here’s why you need to write a thank you note to your references, as well as how to do it effectively with little effort.
Why should you write your references thank you notes? Thank you notes are a way to make sure your references continue to see you as gracious professionals that they want to help. Taking the time to share a quick thank you note always makes a big impact on the recipient. Remember that references are taking time out of their (probably busy) days to aid in your job search. Don’t let them imagine you’re anything but very grateful for that.
Thank you notes to references can be especially important in IT. In a field where thank you notes are becoming largely forgotten (as technical recruiters we often have to remind candidates to write them for interviewers), they can really make you stand out. They can also make you stand out in a field that is awfully small sometimes. Especially within certain sectors, or when it comes to people who use certain technologies, the circle of people can be very small. It becomes even smaller when you factor in LinkedIn. Since much of the tech community is on LinkedIn, people can easily conduct ‘backdoor references’ on you. They simply need to reach out to people you’re mutually connected to. Taking all of this into consideration, why wouldn’t you want to polish your reputation and be known as the person who thoughtfully sends thank you notes to their references?
The best way to handle this task is to wait until you land a new IT job. Take the time to write hand-written notes to each reference. Your notes don’t have to be long. Simply thank them for taking the time to act as a reference. Let them know that, thanks in part to their words, you landed a new job. If it’s true or appropriate, finish the note with a mention that you’d be happy to return the favor and act as a reference. If it’s not, you can end the note by letting them know you’re always happy to reciprocate if they need a favor from you. IT recruiting firms suggest hand-written notes over emails because they clearly require a little more effort than a quick email. While you could do these notes as email, recipients will appreciate the extra effort! If you don’t know your references’ home addresses, you can simply send them to their work addresses. Unless you speak to your references frequently and know them well, asking for their home addresses isn’t preferable. You may want to maintain boundaries (some people like to keep their home addresses private). You also don’t want to bother them with another email or call.
AVID Technical Resources
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.