In a post on Recruitingblogs, Jennifer Brownell calls reference checks “the life blood of successful recruiting.” She describes how she uses reference checks, and the value of them, in her post: On Reference Checks.
You need to read the post to see how recruiters are or should use references. This is not trivial. We treat it as trivial… hoping our resume and interview speak for us, and the recruiter or hiring manager or HR doesn’t need to ask others the lame/canned questions about us.
Maybe we, as job seekers, are thinking about references wrong.
Are you hand-picking the right people to be references for us?
Are we preparing them, first by letting them know to expect a call, and second by coaching them on highlights to talk about?
Are we following up with them, and keeping that relationship warm?
Pop quiz: pretend I am a recruiter and I ask you for three references right now. Can you list three that will do you justice?
If not, get to work on it.