What you should know about character references

So, your résumé made a good impression, and you also aced your interview. Now, your employer is moving forward to check your references. Are you ready? Open Access BPO, a call center in the Philippines, explains how you can land the job by evaluating your career references.

Background check, reference check, and social media search are the new norms for employers and HR managers when assessing job applicants. Recruitment is costly, so they have to make sure that they only get the best hires. It is therefore important for you, as a hopeful applicant, to be confident about what your references will say or what any background check will reveal about you.

Why are character references needed?

Simply put, your references can help employers learn a lot about you. More importantly, it helps them verify the information you presented in your résumé or the employment details you mentioned in your interview.

By making a reference check, the employer can have a better picture of how you approach and value work in the past. Usually, references can help employers make a final decision. If two or more candidates are neck and neck with each other, the one with better references has higher chances of impressing the employer.

Who can be considered good references?

Providing quality career references can have a major impact on your chances of getting hired. When choosing which references to include in your list, you must make sure that all of them can give consistent and positive opinions about you. Therefore, you must consider the kind of relationship you share with your references.

They must be able to encapsulate your work ethics, experience, and skill sets in their testimonial. Needless to say, you only need people who have direct knowledge of your performance at work, therefore, family members or relatives should not be listed as references.

Should you ask permission first?

Your references must not be caught unprepared or blindsided by your employer. Hence, it is a must for you to ask permission or inform them about your choice of listing them as references. By doing so, you actually connect or reconnect with the persons who hold the key to your next job.

Of course, you do not want to force your reference to exactly say something specific about you, but explaining to them why your strengths can make you successful in your desired position can help them prepare what to say during the reference check.

Should you provide references only when asked by the employer?

It’s true that you’re not required to provide references in your résumé right away. But you still have to state that references will be available upon request. Not listing references can help you save valuable space in your resume that you can use for your skills or accomplishments.

However, you must prepare a separate sheet or another version of your résumé where references are included. Some employers might require you to present the list upfront, so it pays to be prepared. The details must be complete, including your references’ full name, title, organization, e-mail address, and contact number. You must also be able to provide the length of time that you have known them.

In order to back up the qualifications you highlighted and motivate your employers to allow you to take next step in your job search, you need a flawless lineup of references. Taking time to decide who to include in your list is therefore a worthy investment in securing your desired job.