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Best Job Hunting Advice Your Career Changers - Always Know what Your References are Going to Say about You

Before attending an interview, you should have your references lined-up and ready to go.  More than just writing down names and phone numbers of previous employers and bosses, you need to do additional preparation.

You do this by finding out how a former employer views you and your work history with them before providing their information to a potential employer.  Even if your feel your time spent there was positive, you don’t know how you were remembered, what will be said, or how a references truly feels about you, unless you ask.

Your first step should be to contact everyone that you are considering using as a reference.  You will want to confirm they are working for the same company and that their phone number is the same.  If a boss has moved to another company, you can still utilize them as a reference provided you can track them down.

When you reach a potential reference, don’t assume they will remember you and everything about you – remind them.  Things you say during your conversation can have a positive outcome on what they have to say about you later on.  Ask them if they are comfortable providing you with a favorable reference and if there is any feedback they have for you.

If you are very comfortable you can flat out ask how they felt about your time working with them and what they would say about you if someone called to ask.

If it's a situation in which you left the job in an unsettling way, have someone perform a reference check for you so you will know what they will say. Always take the guess work out of it.

If you are not comfortable with providing a direct supervisor or boss you can use other
employees in the company that held a supervisory position or you have simply use HR.  Think of people you have worked closely with on projects or such – they are valid and reputable people to provide as references too.

Don't risk making it through the interview process and lose the job offer because of a bad reference.

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