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As a resource to all current and prospective students, Allied Schools, Inc. has developed this blog to provide relevant information to students, job-seekers and professionals alike. Use this blog as your "career guide," turning to Allied Schools for industry updates, career trends, and job search advice. We thank you for visiting!

Career Guidance: Choosing the Right References

You walk out of a successful job interview and think that the job is yours. Not so fast…the interview process is not over. Most likely an interested employer is going to ask for a list of references. Before you print out the standard list that's been circulated from company to company for the past few years, you should give your references some thought.

As mortgage and car companies will check your credit history before co-signing a loan, employers will check your references before offering you a job. It is important to make sure that your list includes current, relevant and positive information regarding your job history.

The following steps explain what you should do to maximize your reference list.

Choose effective references - Select individuals that have known you for at least one year. Your list should include four or five people, such as former or current supervisors, colleagues or subordinates, former customers or clients, former professors, or contacts from work-related associations.

Make sure your records are accurate - Verify all contact information, including phone numbers, addresses and titles, to make sure it's up to date. It is important to make it simple for an employer to reach individuals on your list.

Maintain active and positive relationships with your contacts - Keep in touch with your references and make sure they are abreast of your current progress. This can be accomplished through periodic e-mails and phone calls.
Advise references of an important opportunity - Be selective when contacting your references about potential job opportunities. You don't want to call them every time you send out a resume.

Use a reference-checking service - Make sure you know what a reference is going to say about you. This service will contact the individuals on your list and ask questions similar to that of a potential employer.

Ensure that you include references that complement your resume. The goal should be to pick individuals that confirm the details on your résumé and offer positive information about your skills and experience.

A good list of references may be the difference between you and another qualified candidate. Make yours count!

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