headhunters offer advice for job references

Glowing recommendations from your references can help you clinch the deal when you’re looking to move up the corporate ladder, but mediocre references can spell disaster. Milwaukee headhunters from the Lawler Group know that your references are just as crucial as your resume, cover letter and interviewing skills. Make sure that each of the references you provide to potential employers will give you a recommendation that sets you apart from the crowd by keeping a few simple things in mind that will positively influence hiring managers and executives.


Your References Should Cover The Spectrum

While it may be quicker and easier to choose three people who were or are your peers at your most recent place of employment, some Milwaukee headhunters will be wary of this. Why? Because some people submit co-workers as references when they aren’t sure whether their supervisor or customers will give them a positive review. Ideally, you should be able to provide references from one co-worker, a supervisor or manager and a customer or vendor who worked closely with you for a substantial length of time. By showing us that you can work comfortably with your superiors as well as your peers and business associates, your references demonstrate your flexibility and adaptability.


Don’t Forget About Your References

The individuals you list as references are most likely people who have plenty to do to keep their own careers on track, so they’ve already gone above and beyond if they’ve agreed to give you references. It’s a promise that deserves recognition and appreciation. Always ask before using someone as a reference and thank them after the fact. It’s also important to keep in touch with them before and after you need them. This kind of networking means you’ll have excellent contacts you can rely on for guidance now and in the future. Offering to reciprocate and be a reference when they need one will win you major points as well. If you keep in touch even when you aren’t seeking employment, you’ll be the first person they think of when a new opportunity opens up.


Refresh Your References’ Memories

As leading Milwaukee headhunters, the recruiters at Lawler Group have been talking to references for over four decades. We’re well aware of what you can and can’t discuss with or suggest to your business references. You can’t put words in their mouths and you can’t ask specifics about the recommendation they will give for you. But you CAN contact them to confirm that they are willing to be a reference for you. When you do contact them, you can briefly review a few major projects you worked on together to jog their memories in a positive way.  A comment like, “I enjoyed working with you on the Melville account,” can serve as a reminder to them that you pulled your weight and then some on that project.


Final Tip From Milwaukee Headhunters: Don’t Rely On Just Three References

While you generally need only three professional references, our Milwaukee headhunters have run into more than one instance where a reference suddenly left their company, passed away or simply dropped out of sight. In a few instances, candidates have even discovered that references they thought would give them wonderful recommendations were actually detrimental to their job search. There are also more companies every year that won’t allow their employees to do any more than confirm your title and dates of employment. If this happens to you, having at least two additional references on the back burner can save the day. Milwaukee headhunters suggest that you have at least two references waiting in the wings at all times.


When you work with our Milwaukee headhunters, you’re backed by decades of successful recruiting experience. Making sure you have current, reliable references makes our job easier and ensures that any company that asks to interview you will have all the information they need when they’re ready to make an offer.