Trust is an interesting thing. Since occupational fraud costs businesses nearly $4 trillion per year, it’s not surprising that business owners are picky about where they place their trust. Even if your prospective employer is impressed by your resume and interview skills, they will find it hard to trust you until they get a second opinion. This is where your references come in. If you can get some glowing reviews from your previous employers, you’ll be well on your way to receiving a job offer. Sadly, not all job seekers put as much effort into their references as they should. Here’s how you can make the best use out of this important section of your resume.

Keep your job references updated

Have you kept in touch with everyone on your reference list? If not, are you sure they even remember who you are? A reference from five, ten or more years ago can be perfectly valid if you made a lasting impression. On the other hand, it might be best to replace a reference if you’re not completely certain they will have something valid to say.

Choose your references wisely

You can’t choose just anybody as your contact. After all, an employment reference is only useful if it comes from someone who was legitimately in a position to evaluate you professionally. However, you most likely have multiple managers and supervisors to choose from. If you didn’t have a great relationship with a specific supervisor, you might not be happy with what they have to say about you! Instead, choose a superior with whom you had a positive, professional interaction.

Ask for permission before using someone as a reference

When someone backs you by giving a positive reference, they are putting their own professional reputation on the line. As such, this is not a responsibility everyone is willing to accept. If you make someone uncomfortable by using them as a contact without their permission, you may not be happy with the results.

Let your job references know when they will be contacted

Even if you had a great relationship with a previous employer, they may struggle to say something meaningful and positive about you if they are caught by surprise. If you’re looking for a job and know an interviewer will be checking your employment references, be sure to call them first so they can be prepared. It can be helpful to send them the most recent copy of your resume to help them remember your skills and responsibilities more clearly.

Need help landing the right job for you?

Of course, great references won’t get you very far if you can’t land an interview. At Expert Staffing, we specialize in helping industrial and healthcare professionals find positions that will help them thrive. With current job openings throughout New England, we are confident that, with our help, you’ll find a promising position that fits your needs. Contact us today to learn more about our staffing services.