Making Sure You Have Good Employment References

Written by Scott Brown

Most people don't give much thought about references until after a potential employer asks for them. After all, searching for a job is very time consuming and doesn't give you much of a chance to think about anything except getting interviews. But reference checks are a very important part ofrepparttar job search process: both for job seekers and for employers. For employers, references are a chance to add depth torepparttar 139086 information they have learned about you fromrepparttar 139087 interview and from your resume.

At a minimum, your references should confirmrepparttar 139088 informationrepparttar 139089 employer has about you and that you are a competent employee. However, you should strive to provide references who can be as enthusiastic about you and you would be about yourself. A great reference makesrepparttar 139090 hiring manager feel good about their decision to hire you and sets a positive tone for your first few days onrepparttar 139091 job. Asrepparttar 139092 saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression and your references can help you do that.

Getting Your Ducks In a Row

It's a good idea to get a reference letter from your manager as soon after leaving a position as possible. Getting a reference letter right away makes it easier for your manager to recall specific contributions you made torepparttar 139093 team. Even if you don't end up needing a reference right away, havingrepparttar 139094 reference letter provides you with something to fall back on inrepparttar 139095 event you are unable to contact your former manager at a later time. Plus, if you decide to go back torepparttar 139096 manager a year or more later to ask them to provide a phone reference, you can remind them aboutrepparttar 139097 reference letter they wrote for you.

Before asking someone to takerepparttar 139098 time to write a reference letter or provide a phone reference, it's a good idea to get a feel for what they would say about you. One way to do this is to say "Do you feel you know me well enough to write a good reference letter?" instead of just "Could you write a reference letter?" This way, ifrepparttar 139099 person doesn't feel they could say something positive, they have an easy way to decline your request.

Employers who ask for references want to confirm dates of employment and position titles at a minimum. They will also try to find out if your former boss would rehire you givenrepparttar 139100 opportunity. And many employers will askrepparttar 139101 reference to grade your abilities inrepparttar 139102 specific areas that will apply to your new job. For example, if you're applying for a job as a manager,repparttar 139103 employer may ask your reference to rate your managerial skills on a scale from 1 to 10. Having a sense ofrepparttar 139104 types of questions employers are likely to ask your references, you should try to gaugerepparttar 139105 potential reference's response to these questions before deciding to let them vouch for you. For example, you could say "I'm curious - if you hadrepparttar 139106 chance, would you hire me again to work for you?"

What being "overqualified" really means

Written by Scott Brown

If you've been working for a while, chances are you've found yourself in an interview with someone who tells you you're "overqualified." Interviews are quite a nerve-wracking situation and at first it sounds like a compliment. But if you're like most people, you're left bewildered, wondering whatrepparttar interviewer meant. Today we're going to address this as a response to a question from one of our subscribers.


I've enjoyed your articles very much and have used some ofrepparttar 139085 information in my job search successfully. However, I have two pressing questions I want to ask. What is a job seeker to do when they are told repeatedly in interviews they are allegedly over-qualified? I have been on interviews for positions that are almost exactly likerepparttar 139086 one I was laid-off from recently. However, interviewers flat out tell me that although I have impressive and desirable credentials, they feel I'm over-qualified. My second concern pertains to compensation. Inrepparttar 139087 rare events that I haven't been "over-qualified", I have managed to avoid discussing this taboo, yet all-important topic since this is what really drives companies to hire a particular candidate. Inrepparttar 139088 unfortunate eventrepparttar 139089 topic comes up before getting an offer, I have given a "range" as to what I'd expect based on area living standards, what such a position fetches for inrepparttar 139090 industry as a whole, and obviously my credentials. I have tried various tactics from selling myself extremely short allrepparttar 139091 way up to "no way in hell" for pay ranges, but regardless, I getrepparttar 139092 form letter saying thanks for interviewing, but keep looking for a job. It's a catch-22 here it seems. On one hand I'm over-qualified, but when I'm not, I apparently ask for too much money even if I just state a reasonable range and justify my given range. Am I over-simplifying this or is there something else going on here that I'm unaware of? -J.H.

J.H., Thanks for your email and forrepparttar 139093 compliments!

It sounds like when employers say you're overqualified, they're looking at your qualifications and realizing that they'd have to pay you a salary that's onrepparttar 139094 high-end ofrepparttar 139095 salary range. And it sounds like you're expecting that high-end salary yourself.

I think in a good economy, employers can afford to hire "overqualified" individuals. Sometimes, ifrepparttar 139096 job market is tight - as it was a few years ago - employers might have no choice becauserepparttar 139097 less expensive and less qualified people are all working elsewhere.

I'm not sure what kind of work you do so it's difficult to get intorepparttar 139098 particulars..

One option would be to go for a job with a lower salary. By now, you probably knowrepparttar 139099 types of companies and positions that are not willing to pay for your qualifications. You could go into interviews with these companies and explain before they even start asking you questions that you really want to work for their firm and you're willing to work for a salary onrepparttar 139100 low end ofrepparttar 139101 range. By preemptively addressingrepparttar 139102 salary question, you make it clear that you're not expecting a higher salary. This will makerepparttar 139103 employer more comfortable withrepparttar 139104 idea of offering yourepparttar 139105 position and help alleviate their concerns that you would jump ship as soon as a sweeter offer comes along. Another approach to getting a job with a lower salary would be to remove some ofrepparttar 139106 qualifications from your resume. You don't want to lie on your resume, but you can legitimately omit certain facts. For example, if you graduated Phi Beta Kappa or Magna Cum Laude, you are not obligated to list that on your resume.

If you want to get a job with a higher salary, you might want to try working for a different type of company. There is often a difference in salary between jobs that are inrepparttar 139107 company's "line of business" versus support/staff jobs. For example, an accountant working for a corporation to help maintain their books and records or do their taxes, would be working in a staff job thatrepparttar 139108 company would view as an expense or cost center. Companies work hard to minimize their costs (and therefore salaries) in cost center departments.

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
Terms of Use