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From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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11/11/10
References. Things your references need to be prepared for
Filed under: Interviewing, Public Relations docs, Mature professionals, Observ. Trends
Posted by: site admin @ 2:44 pm

It it an interesting world we live in.  There are
consequential strangers, unanticipated consequences,
and surprises when something comes to mind
from nowhere.

When we are job seeking it seems like none
of these come.  In fact, we should seek and
desire these.

That said, by an unanticipated path I have been
asked to be a reference for an individual.  Now
being a reference I need to be able to respond
intelligently to questions like:

1. Given a skeleton job description, do I think
the candidate can perform well?
 - give rationale why

2. What do I feel are important strengths and
areas for improvement?  Having said that what
unique behaviors does (s)he have that the interview
might not have revealed?

3. How does the person work under pressure?
Give me an example to reveal the person’s behavior.

4. Has the person behaved ethically and respectfully
in all situations?
If not, what coaching would be a benefit. 
More often, a reference will mention no shortcomings.
Nonetheless, this is an opportunity for the reference
to mention areas where coaching can be fruitful in
a win-win way.  international business, business
plan writing, true managing and leading.

Several questions that references should be prepared
to respond to.  It is the job applicant’s responsibility to
help the reference have specific background.  Randy
Hanson has suggested an appropriate list.

Hanson also lists some reference watch-outs.
I feel differently about providing the list with
the resume.  Although I agree references are not
part of a resume, (1) there is value in supplying the
list of references for technical hiring.  It provides
helpful information if the hiring manager knows
a reference.

There is a “cost” to pay if you list current managers
 or co-workers.

I also suggest that we need to (2)  list the relationship
of the reference to you for each reference on the
list.

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