So, you made it through the gauntlet of interviews, passed your coding test, and all that stands between you and your dream job are a few references for your potential new employer.
What’s the best way to go about asking for professional references from your network?
It is crucial that you choose wisely. You don’t want to ask someone you didn’t have a positive relationship with, let alone a negative one. Think about coworkers from the past and people you have jived with well.
What To Do...and Not To Do.
Do not provide the reference to your new employer without letting your reference know. There’s not much worse than getting a call out of the blue from a company asking for a reference when you didn’t know it was coming. Ask for permission from your prospective reference. If they say no, don’t take it personally; just move on to the next person in your network.
Your reference should be someone you’ve worked with or reported to directly so they can provide good insight to the potential employer. When you get permission from your reference, make sure to share details with them. For example, let them know what this company does, what you would do in your potential new role, and how it is similar or different from when you worked with your reference.
How to Prepare Yourself
A great way to be prepared for reference checks for any new role you might be accepting is to build and nurture your network consistently. When you leave a job, don’t cut off communication from everyone there completely. Schedule some time each quarter to check in with former coworkers and employers as this can come in handy both for references or even new job opportunities.
Getting a job offer can be exhilarating, and you want to be prepared to lock it up when it does come through. Understanding the best ways to get your references in line and how to keep a good network of references can go a long way to help you secure that job offer for yourself. Good luck!