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Job references - how to not overuse?  Actions...
Posted: by Gal2 on Mon. 31 Oct., 2011 at 5:01:41 PM

Hello,

I'm currently on a job search. I had an interview recently and my references were called. I didn't get the job, so the hunt continues. I expect that, with this current economy, I could be going for quite a few more interviews before I'm offered a position.

I know employers usually like to call your most recent supervisor, but I don't want mine (or my other references for that matter) to receive too many calls. These days HR people have so many questions to ask references that it can really take up a lot of their time. I've read that it's fine to request that your references be called only if you're being seriously considered for a job.

Can anyone give me some suggestions on how not to overuse my references? FYI: I never give out references until after an interview and only if I'm sincerely interested in taking the job.

Thank you.

 

Gal2
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is getting hired the objective?  Actions...
Posted: by __Don__ on Mon. 31 Oct., 2011 at 6:43:49 PM
In reply to: Gal2 "Job references - how to not overuse?"

> These days HR people have so many questions to ask references ...

Oh?  Employer HR people (& supervisors) answering such questions need to be really careful (legally) about what they tell inquirers about you.  I mean, beyond acknowledging that you were indeed an employee there from this date to that date, there's a narrow limit as to what is 'safe' for them to reveal about you beyond a polite conversation having little meaningful content.  For all they know, the caller could be fishing for lawsuit material or could even be a stalker.  So I'd of thought conversations 'these days' had become short and sweet. 

> I've read that it's fine to request that your references be called only if you're being seriously considered for a job.

It's common practice on resumes to remark "references on request".  You're going well beyond that imo when you're saying to would be employers:  I won't give you my references until after you've given me a job interview and will only give you my references if I'm still keen on the job.  Oh!  And, please don't even contact my references until you're considering me seriously for a job.  [My point being, that some employers make the decision to seriously consider someone by first having a chat with that person's previous supervisor.  Or at least, won't have made up their mind until they've done their due diligence and checked to see if there's reason Not to consider you seriously.]

I urge you to give employers some credit for using restraint and finding better uses for their time than filling their days badgering applicants' references, unless those applicants are indeed serious candidates.  To suggest they're doing otherwise is, well, insulting imo.  Yes, I expect this happens at times, but I think it's misplaced to assume this is common enough for you to be laying down 'rules'.

> FYI: I never give out references until after an interview and only if I'm sincerely interested in taking the job.

Some employers might want to call references before even booking the first and only in person job interview, perhaps preceded by one or two phone interviews (as, they'd like to wrap it up at one go, and be ready to hire someone on the spot by having done their homework in advance).  Clearly you have a problem with that. 

Don

 

__Don__
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References  Actions...
Posted: by AB_mom on Mon. 31 Oct., 2011 at 9:51:39 PM
In reply to: Gal2 "Job references - how to not overuse?"

I would tend to agree with Don above.  References upon request is a good comment to add to your resume if you don't include them in your initial application.  If you're being 'thrifty' in offering them because you're afraid of your references being bothered though, you may miss out on opportunity.  You're the one looking for a job in market with the competition likely heavy.  Can you 'afford' at this point to be so picky you'll only give out references to those you think you'd 'want' to work for - or think they're 'seriously' interested in hiring you? - I've never heard what you're saying that HR people should only call your references if you're being seriously considered.  They need a place to start.  When I hired people, yes I contacted references of those I seriously considered, but if your resume is so brief to not include some info that might be requested in the job application process - the lack of 'following directions' would  remove you from potential employer's interest list.  Let the people doing the hiring do their job, let them choose whether or not to contact references... if they're not interested in you they won't follow through with contacting references - don't put it in the 'if I (applicant) is interested I'll share my references'.  Just don't play that dance!  You may not really know if you want the job until you're offered & negotiations are Be willing to take a job that might not be 100% to your preference - its the on-the-job experience that will be the telling - description/duties might be great, but you find within short weeks you can't stand your co-workers; another job that might sound 'iffy' may be in the end the perfect fit for you!

AB_mom
edited Mon. 31 Oct., 2011 @ 9:55:43 PM by AB_mom
 
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what did the reference say?  Actions...
Posted: by rusty01 on Wed. 2 Nov., 2011 at 5:47:56 PM
In reply to: Gal2 "Job references - how to not overuse?"
I've read that it's fine to request that your references be called only if you're being seriously considered for a job.

I hire staff and phone references, but I can't imagine phoning a reference about a candidate I was not "seriously considering for a job"!  Why waste my time as well as theirs, if I'm not serious about the candidate? Huh?   

I use a reference just to confirm what I think I've found out about a prospective hire - in other words, we're prepared to offer the job to the candidate providing the reference confirms our findings.  Could it be that these people are not giving you a great reference?

rusty01
edited Wed. 2 Nov., 2011 @ 5:50:50 PM by rusty01
edited Wed. 2 Nov., 2011 @ 5:55:01 PM by rusty01
 
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I think you're doing the right thing -  Actions...
Posted: by karen_g on Wed. 2 Nov., 2011 at 9:43:12 PM
In reply to: Gal2 "Job references - how to not overuse?"
You're not providing the references until the job interview, which is the correct protocol.  Even putting on the resume or cover letter "references available upon request" is not necessary; it's considered to be a given.*

For your second paragraph, I don't think the HR personnel would call references unless the candidate is being seriously considered and has already been interviewed.  They don't want to be wasting their time, either.  In many companies, the protocol is that the HR department will only verify dates of employment and the position held, anyway.  Some companies do want to investigate a candidate's background more completely, and there are private companies that specialise in this kind of information.

So even if you have several serious interviews in the near future, I don't think you have to worry too much about overusing your references.

*Edited to add:  very, very occasionally you might come upon a recruitment-ad that does ask that references be included with the resume.  In a case like that, then of course you ought to do so, but it would be so rare that you still wouldn't really have to worry about your references being overly bothered.

karen_g
edited Wed. 2 Nov., 2011 @ 9:47:53 PM by karen_g
 
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Thank you all  Actions...
Posted: by Gal2 on Sun. 6 Nov., 2011 at 11:26:15 AM
In reply to: karen_g "I think you're doing the right thing -"
Thank you to all the posters. I'm no longer going to worry about my references being bothered too much. I appreciate all of your input.

Gal2
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Don't offer  Actions...
Posted: by ao_ on Sat. 12 Nov., 2011 at 9:46:50 AM
In reply to: Gal2 "Job references - how to not overuse?"

references until you have an actual offer. The offer would of course be dependant on the outcome of the references. 

Why were people calling your references if they didn't have intentions of offering you an offer? Maybe you should check that your references are really good and someone on your list is not killing your chances of getting a job. 

 

 

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing. - Elbert Hubbard

ao_
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When I hired  Actions...
Posted: by ABmom99 on Sat. 12 Nov., 2011 at 1:56:42 PM
In reply to: ao_ "Don't offer"
I know you didn't ask me specifically - but - when I managed a store & needed to hire, I would definitely call references of those who I might consider offering jobs to. ... so if I had 3 applicants that seemed promising & similar to each other --- the reference check gave me just that much more info when I had to make a decision on just who I would offer the position.   Occasionally I had applicants who were obvious poor potential matches - so I wouldn't check those references, but the references could definitely be the determining factor in who I would hire.  Even when applying for a job and the posting asks for applicants to submit resume & fill out application form that indicate need for references - and applicant doesn't fill in references can show the employer a variety of things -- is the applicant even reading the posting/requests completely? following through with directions? attitude towards potential employer.

ABmom99
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