The days of providing one reference on your job application are long gone! If you were planning on listing your gym buddy or cousin as a reference, you may want to think again. Companies are cracking down on pre-employment references more than ever.

Hiring managers can never be 100% certain that you will be a great fit, but they will do everything in their power to avoid any obvious issues. References are becoming a larger part of the interview process every year. Not only do you need to interview well, but you also need to make sure others speak well about you! So what type of general information is your next potential employer looking to learn from your reference?

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– Did you perform your job duties well?

– Are you a reliable, dependable, hard-working person?                                   

– Do you take pride in your job?

– Why are you no longer at your last job?

– Do you get along well with others?

– What are your strength and weaknesses?

Reference checking has changed over the last few years. Many companies are now using online reference platforms. This requires you to provide your reference information on line, and your references will receive an e-mail link to a form containing questions about you. What does all of this mean for you? For starters, make sure you have your references planned out with their current information. This process is designed to move very quickly. The people you have chosen for your references should be aware that you are giving out their information. Let them know that they may be receiving e-mails and phone calls from employers to whom you have applied. Your reference should respond promptly and informatively. Don’t hesitate to ask past clients, co-workers, and managers to be your reference. The more people you have to speak on your behalf, the better. Their response will reflect on you, so choose wisely! 

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