The principals at Allison & Taylor have recently identified 6 new trends through discussions with over 1500 employers that you should know about.
1. References have become more valuable.
Though many people treat their reference list as an afterthought, it is of the utmost importance. A resume will get an interview, but it’s the report former references provide that will win the job in a close race with another qualified candidate.
Although the job market is poised to grow, hiring managers generally have a surplus of eligible candidates and will take the time to carefully examine candidate’s credentials. It has become critically important that a reference list is well thought out, with full contact information, and presented as a matching and professional addendum to a resume.
2. The format of references have changed.
Whereas the standard approach was to offer a simple list of references and their contact information, savvy job seekers are now modernizing their reference lists to make a powerful statement of their qualifications for the new position.
An effective reference list will identify those attributes the references can attest to, an approach that offers several benefits to the job seeker. It allows them to further showcase their abilities and achievements with former employers, and to tie those qualifications in with the key job elements sought by prospective new employers. When offered to a potential employer – e.g., at the close of an interview – a well-crafted reference document will make a powerful and proactive statement on the job seeker’s behalf.
3. Employers will use peers & subordinates as references.
Many job seeks assume that an employer will only check with Human Resources or a former supervisor for reference purposes. It’s a potentially disastrous assumption; especially in this challenging economy, employers feel they have the luxury of checking less-traditional references such as peers/co-workers.
This can work to a candidate’s advantage if they strive for successful work relationships. Associates like a supportive second-level supervisor or a matrix manager(s) can be key advocates on a job seeker’s behalf, and might be more supportive than traditional references like immediate supervisors. (Note: A prospective employer does not require permission to check any reference.)
4. Workplace bullying will continue to be an issue.
Despite negative press about bad bosses (or coworkers), bullies still abound and can adversely affect a job seeker’s current or future employment. Workplace bullying tactics can range from the covert (behind-the-back sniping) to the blatant (public humiliation or physical abuse), but they are unquestionably harmful in all forms. Luckily, there is recourse if an employee is experiencing this issue at work.
5. Employers are using more social media and technology to evaluate candidates.
Many employers are utilizing electronic reference systems, which rank an employee’s performance on a scale. While it is comprehensive and factual, it has the downside of limiting the opportunity employers have to favorably assess a candidate. Your readers need to know- a smart job seeker will have negotiated the terms of their reference upon departure from any company. They also need to review social media sites (Linked In, etc.) to ensure a prospective employer is not viewing any inappropriate or private commentary about them.
6. Accomplishments and real case scenarios will become fundamental interview tools.
For each job, candidates should keep a list of accomplishments and instances where their efforts helped avert a crisis or problem situation. These “real life scenarios” are commonly used in employment interviews and the ability to respond to them comprehensively and knowledgably is a critical tool that will help a job seeker excel in the interview process and snag the position.
A good employer tries to find the candidate who is best suited for any given position, and ideally the workplace should be a positive and productive one. Once hired, however, that’s not always the case, and job seekers may encounter some unacceptable employment situations.
For more information on conducting a reference check, please visit AllisonTaylor.com.
Are you protected by your old company’s policy to only confirm the dates and title of employment?
Our experience is, that with a little pressure, most managers break company policy and speak their mind to either help or hurt a candidate’s chance at another job. Who from your past job will help you or hurt you – you need to know.
Is your past boss badmouthing you?
50% of our clients have lost good job offers due to bad or mediocre comments from previous employers. Reference-Letters.com will confidentially find out what is really being said about you and give you the power to stop it!
Interviewing well but not getting the job?
Maybe it’s something that a past employer or reference is saying. Could a jealous colleague be sabotaging you? Could your past boss be less than happy at your departure? Reference-Letters.com will help you find out.
Do you have a separation agreement with your past employer? Is it being honored?
Is your past employer giving you the professional and prompt reference that was promised or are they saying, “Well according to our agreement I can only confirm that he worked here.” Reference-Letters.com will find out what is really being said and give you the power to enforce your agreement.
Were you a victim of discrimination, sexual harassment or wrongful termination?
Your previous employers could be affecting your new job search through their comments to prospective employers. Don’t let them continue to hurt you and your career.
Are you being BLACKBALLED?
Last year our clients were awarded more than $2 million in settlements. Reference-Letters.com will find out what is really being said about you and give you the power to stop it!
You’ve put time and effort into your resume, developed your network of possible employers and recruiters, worked on your interview skills – but have done nothing but typed a list of your references. Don’t leave this crucial area to chance. References are the final factor in who gets the job offer. Your past employers – anyone you reported to will be contacted. Do you know what they will say? Reference-Letters.com will find out what is really being said about you.