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The Best Way To Use References To Help You Get A Job Fast Today

February 23rd, 2009 | admin | Help Finding a Job

The Best Way to Use References to Help you get a Job Today

What you do with your references and how you use them can help you get a job faster today.  Most people don’t use their references correctly.  Here’s how to use your references in the best way to help you get interviews and get hired.

First you should know this, companies are hiring.  Don’t believe everything you hear on the news.  People are getting hired, but companies are being more selective than they have been in a long time.  They are looking for the best people that can bring the most value to their company. This is very important to remember when you are searching for a new job.

So how do you show a company that you can bring more value than any other candidate?

The answer:  By using your references in the right way.

When applying for a job most people will submit their resume  and have at the bottom: "references available upon request."  That does them absolutely no good.

The purpose of the resume is to get an interview and a resume by itself doesn’t do a very good job of this usually.

But if you accompany that resume with a cover letter that outlines your accomplishments and shows that what you have done for other employers is similar to what this employer is asking for, that can be very powerful.

You can also include with your resume and cover letter one more thing– written statements from your references that talk about the value you brought to their company and what you accomplished.  However, in order for this to work and you to gain maximum effectiveness out of this idea, it must be done in the right way.

Think of this scenario.  Often, when we go to buy something we like to see testimonials from other people that have bought and used the product.  That can be a whole lot more powerful in terms of influencing our decision to buy, rather than just listening to what the company has to say about itself.

Think of your resume as your personal advertisement that is selling you in a similar way.   Now think about accompanying that with testimonials from people you have worked for in the past, people that can confirm your accomplishments and how valued an employee you were. 

Here’s what you do.  Call people you have reported to in the past.  This works best if the reference is from someone that you reported to.  Ask them if they could help you out by writing a short reference for you.  Ask that it be focused on what you did at the company to bring value.  Ask them if they can be specific with it and make it quantifiable.  Remind them, if they can’t remember of specific examples.    The more specific the better-this can’t be general otherwise it is just fluff.

The information they write for you need not be lengthy-a few sentences, a paragraph.

When you collect these references they actually become "testimonials" about you.  Put these on a single or two sheets of paper.  You can title this something like:  Here’s What Former Supervisors (or Managers or People I have Reported To in the Past) Have to Say about the Value I Can Bring to a Company.

This testimonial sheet will have a short few sentences from each reference.  Be sure to include the references name, title and company they were with when you worked together.

I can guarantee most people out there are not using their references in this way.  Anything you can do to separate yourself from the competition will help move you closer to getting the job you want.  Give it a try and let us know how it worked for you.

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