Top Creative Ways to Use Referrals in Your Job Search

Are there any creative ways to use referrals in a job search? Obviously, there are. And you should be using referrals to increase your chances of landing a job.

Referrals are an excellent way to leverage your skills as a new or veteran jobseeker. However, the practice of merely providing references on a Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Résumé is somewhat archaic and appears more like name-dropping to influence a recruiter.

Depending on whether you send a CV or Résumé directly to an employer or apply through other online platforms, referrals can really help. 

Creative Ways to Use Referrals

A survey conducted by Jobvite shows jobseekers with referrals are five times more likely to be hired over those who don’t provide references or prefer disclosing them later.

Given this fact, it’s better to leverage your referrals during a job search in any of these creative ways.

Ask for a Referral

You can ask current and former bosses and colleagues as well as, friends, neighbors, and people you know who hold excellent positions and are of sound social standing. These would serve as informal references unless you’re fortunate enough to find someone that’s specifically in the industry where you wish to work.

Asking for referrals from these types of people is the topmost creative way of using references for job searches. That’s because they’ll know you fairly well and would most likely be able to speak about your overall personality.

What’s your personality have to do with your job search? Here’s the answer. Other than academic qualifications, experience, and skills, recruiters nowadays also look for soft skills, emotional intelligence, and personality traits to find if you’ll fit the role.

Use Your Social Network

If you have Facebook and LinkedIn accounts, it’s easy to ask for referrals and use them for your job search. Spread the word through your network and find someone reliable that can serve as your reference.

Connect as with that person, send messages, and ask if you can use them as a reference for job searches. A lot of recruiters look at your social media profiles to see whom you’re connected with and get some idea about your overall character from your posts. Now is a good time to clean up your account if you need to

Faculty Members

An excellent and creative way to use referrals for job searches is by getting your college or university faculty members on board. Generally, newer use references from professors and other faculty members while applying for their first employment upon graduation. 

However, there’s absolutely no harm in requesting one of your former professors or faculty members for reference, even if it’s been some time since leaving college.

There is a  possibility that a recruiter or some senior official at the place where you’re applying to is also a former student of that professor or faculty member. Professors and other faculty of reputed colleges and universities generally command high respect. A reference from them definitely helps your job search.

Write to the professor and ask if he or she would be willing to write a letter of recommendation. Email Your Friends

While embarking on a job search or applying for a position, you can also email friends and relatives and ask if know anyone that can provide a suitable reference. Generally, you’ll find at least one superb reference in this way.

Alternatively, you could also ask friends to serve as a reference, provided they hold some good position in that industry. Or get them to request their bosses if possible, to serve as a reference. Though not many companies encourage using friends and relatives are references. Yet, if you have no other options, go ahead and provide them as references through recommendation letters and contact details.

Memberships & Community Organizations

And finally, it’s also possible to get some excellent references from clubs and industry groups where you’re a member. Also try getting references from spiritual or ethnic and community organizations, if you belong to any particular one. 

Now, this is something you need to do carefully. Never leverage your candidacy as a member of a minority or specific ethnic group. Nor try to influence a recruiter with references on communal or religious grounds. Instead, try and find someone related to your industry or sphere of work.

Relevance of References

Providing a reference can lend you that decisive edge in clinching an interview call and possibly the job. Therefore, use references with some caution. It’s best to be selective about whom you’ll use as a reference for each job you apply for. . Use these five creative ways to find an excellent reference. 

In Conclusion

Personal contacts, LinkedIn, and Facebook are your best resources to develop an excellent arsenal of strong references that you could use for any job searches now and in the future. It’s best to keep several references ready because no jobseeker can predict which ones will click with any specific recruiter. Hence, having a few references up your sleeve is a good tactic for any job search. 

Talking with and networking with other job seekers can also be beneficial.

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