Referee call must be good for you

By Sabina Trench, Career Coach, Sli Nua Careers (Westport)

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Sabina Trench – WESTPORT, 087 453 5227

Q. Do I have to put my previous manager on my CV as a referee or can I put someone else from the company? (ET, email).

A: It’s your CV and you can call whatever witness you wish to speak for you. There are no hard and fast rules. While it might appear to you that there is an obvious person to place on your CV, the next hiring manager may not realise who this person is. So it could be your line manager – or the MD. It could be the sales manager or the operations manager. This person should understand you work-wise.

It’s important to list someone likely to be courteous and communicative when a call comes through. Getting a job is a sales process. You must sell yourself as best you can. If you were out and about selling a product, you wouldn’t put down an unhappy customer as your referee or your testimonial. So why would you do it on your CV?

The importance of giving contact details for a referee vary from company to company. Some companies do their own snooping about you – you might never know who they call. Some go to great lengths to talk to previous managers, employers , while others rely on assessment centres, psychometric testing or aptitude testing.

I know of people who, upon asking a previous manager for a reference, were told to ‘write it yourself and I will sign it’. You should see this this as a great vote of confidence. The employer is willing to attach their name to what you write and is therefore willing to stand by anything you say.It’s an opportunity to write something very good about yourself. Avoid the temptation to write abstract tracts of gushing praise and, instead, focus on accomplishments, competencies and attributes. Be concrete.

In all cases, you should let your referee know what kind of job you’re going for at the moment and what kind of things they need to highlight on any phone call they get.

Sabina Trench is a Career Coach with Sli Nua Careers and works out of Westport, Co. Mayo. You can read more about her, and make a booking HERE for CV Preparation and Interview Training.

More articles from her blog can be accessed HERE