Professional References — The Coin of The Realm

Candidate AND Company – Does the perception of you match who you say you are?  Who YOU think you are?  Do you know what your References will say about you?  Are you sure? 


A Company has entire business groups responsible for improving, maintaining, nurturing Customer References.  (I’ve been involved in that endeavor…)  Every business leader knows that, and it’s a premier concern. 


As a Candidate, one should be equally attentive to maintaining and nurturing their Professional References.  Given my 1000+ search experiences, I can certainly tell you that references will make or break a candidacy.  Many times, I’ve experienced situations where great references from credible sources (key) will mitigate a weaker resume.  Equally, I’ve seen questionable references knock-off a seemingly great resume.


Advice to potential Candidates (this includes – EVERYONE):  When you DO NOT need them, keep in touch your references.  Meet them for a coffee about once a year; let them know what you’re doing now and any current accomplishments; reinforce the positive experiences you had together.  Fish around for any unpleasant memories they may have about your business experiences together.  Reinforce positives about those experiences – clear up any misunderstandings.  Be subtle.  But treat this as a necessary component of investing in the wellness of your career. 


Great references are truly golden…. The Coin of the Realm.


NEXT:  As a Company — Obtaining and Evaluating References of your Candidates.

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