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How to Secure the Perfect Reference

Posted: 13 Nov 2017

How to Secure the Perfect Reference

When looking for a new job, there are lots of things to consider including writing the perfect CV and even the steps for rebooting your career in IT should you require it. However, one of the most vital steps in ensuring the success of landing your dream job is making sure that you have a couple of reliable references that help to showcase your potential.

As an inevitable part of the job application process, it is traditionally expected for you to include the names and contact details of two people who you would be happy for your potential employer to contact. Depending on the position that you are going for, and the level of experience that is needed, this number can increase. However, a minimum of two references should be seen as the standard. These details are not necessarily required to be included on your CV, although you should disclose that their information is available on request.

So, whose details would be the most beneficial to include? It is essential to think about the questions that your potential employer will ask so that you can select the best individuals. Typically, you will want to pick the most relevant people who can explain what your skills and expertise are but can also comment on your other attributes that apply to the workplace, such as your punctuality and attendance.

If you have limited experience to draw from, it may be difficult to provide the details of several references. In this instance, using any academic links that you may have, such as a university or college tutor, would be a good choice, as well as selecting referees in senior positions will be looked upon more favourably.

Although it is always a good idea to have a couple of references for back up, avoiding personal references is of paramount importance because these can show bias and are, therefore, generally disregarded.

If you’re looking to change your current job, then your most recent employer will have the most recent recollection of your behaviour and attitude in the workplace, so they would be the best option for a reference. It is important to note that in Ireland, there is no statutory obligation on an employer to provide a reference to you when leaving your current position. As a result of this, it is always best to leave jobs on good terms for you to receive a reference that will help your job application.

If you are apprehensive about requesting a reference from an employer that you left on bad terms with, it could be beneficial to email them beforehand, checking that they are okay with providing a reference. It is important to note that under the Employment Equality Act they cannot provide a discriminatory reference which references to your civil status, disability, gender, family status, religious belief, race, sexual orientation or your membership to the Traveller community. In addition to this, they also have to ensure that the reference is accurate and fair, otherwise, they are at risk of a potential defamation claim.

If you’ve been out of work for a while, it might seem like a difficult task to find a referee. Previous employers can still help vouch for your abilities, even though you may not have been in contact for a while. In these instances, it is important to remember that your reference is helping to further your career. As you may have not recently spoken, being polite and requesting their consent to act as a referee before submitting their information is important. Keeping them updated with your whereabouts and any experience that you have gained since you last spoke will also allow them to provide a more informed reference, benefiting your future applications.

Once you’ve selected the perfect referees for your job application, you should have peace of mind that they can vouch for your abilities and are the best people to help you land the position. Once you’ve selected your references and updated your CV accordingly, you will have the foundations for a great application.

If you’re still looking for a role within the IT industry, why not get in contact with our team here at Eolas Recruitment? As one of the leading IT Recruitment Companies in Ireland, our expert team of Specialist Recruiters strive to advise you with any queries that you may have. For more information, get in touch with us via our contact us page, or give us a ring on 012866666!

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