Is Having the Wrong References Holding your Job Search Back?

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Having many interviews with nothing to show for it can be one of the most frustrating things to have to go through. You’re so close to getting a job offer but it just never materializes. If you can get interviews then there’s probably nothing wrong with your job-hunting strategy, your resume or cover letter. The problem could be related to your interviewing prowess or maybe even your references.
You might need to take some time and evaluate your job interviewing process – from everything to your preparation to following up. How much effort do you put into preparing for your job interviews? Do you do your research before the interview and review questions that you might be asked? Your interviewing skills are important, you have to make a good impression when you first meet the interviewer. You have to have a solid connection – with a strong handshake, solid eye contact, and an inviting smile.
One thing to do is bring in samples of your previous work. A portfolio, with supporting documentation, is an excellent way to sell yourself to an interviewer. Make sure to ask questions about the company and the position, you have to be interested in the position or it will show through to the interviewer. There is a lot of gray area when interviewing. You don’t want to overstep your bounds but you also want to show that you have a personality to match your resume. What about after the interview? Do you thank the interviewer or send out a thank you letter afterwards? Following up was once the key to landing a job – now there are many different factors at play.
There are companies that will call all of your references and there are some that will not think twice to hire your without references. If you think your references are holding you back from finding a job, then evaluate your references and see how you can beef them up. Make sure that you ask someone before you put them down as a reference, the last thing you want is having a supervisor from 3 years ago get a call about you and have no idea who you were. If you have references that are not related to the job you’re applying for, you need to update them to match your desired position. Many of these companies will not hire someone if they have old references or if their references don’t match the desired position. Having your McDonalds manager from college as a reference will probably not do much for you when you’re trying to get that CPA job.
Be smart about your references and only use the ones that will benefit you the most. Think about who’s on your references; would any of them have a difficult time explaining you or your past duties? Your references may be holding you back, so evaluate them and see if you can come up with references who will make you shine.