I don’t know anyone who has received a job offer without a verification of their professional references. I do understand that sometimes reference checks are no more than a formality; however, it is best to screen and prepare anyone you ask to serve as a reference for you. You should ensure that they are aware of your employment history, skills, career goals, and the position you are currently applying for. Although this may seem like a’ no-brainer’, please only use professional references who will have positive things to say about you.
This past school year I had the honor of writing graduate school letters of recommendation for two amazing young women whom I have supervised and mentored. One plans to pursue social work and the other education. They received their admission letters the same day!! I am so proud of who they have become both personally and professionally. Absolutely everything I wrote about them was true. They already are and will continue to change lives.
How many job seekers or potential students have asked you to serve as a professional reference? I don’t know the answer to that question myself. I have been asked to serve as a professional reference for people who have supervised me as well as employees, interns, and volunteers that have reported to me. I count it a privilege.
What criteria would you use to decide whether or not to serve as a professional reference for someone? Do you review a person’s work ethic, people skills, industry knowledge, or attendance?
If you were your Manager, would you serve as a professional reference for you?
Nicki Sanders, Chief Visionary Officer of Packaged For Success, helps both youth and adults discover their personal power, dream big, and achieve success on their own terms. Ms. Sanders is an experienced trainer, group facilitator, and program manager who holds a Master’s degree in Social Work. Ms. Sanders has over fifteen years of direct experience with diverse populations in residential, school-based, and community based agencies.
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