The Seven Deadly Myths of Job References discusses some common misconceptions about an important component of your job hunt: what your past employers will say about you.
I hope that you have had nothing but great employment experiences and that you are on good terms with all your old bosses. That’s my fortunate position–I would gladly work with any of them again, and I believe they would say the same about me.
However, I have worked with plenty of people who did not feel the same way and did not leave their jobs on good terms.
There is one point, perhaps obvious to most, that was not explicitly mentioned in “Seven Deadly Myths” and that bears repeating:
- Ask Permission
Ask your former manager if you can use him or her as a reference. This alerts them to the fact that you are looking for work, and a reference check won’t come to them as a surprise. They may even decline, if they feel that their honest opinion won’t help you.
Use references that think highly of you and can speak well of you! An enterprising prospective employer might make a call or two off your listed references, but in many cases they will stick with the people you list.
Are you worried that someone might be passing along a negative reference? Maybe you have had dozens of good interviews that never pan out? Jobreferences.com offers a service to check your references for you
Is it worth $79 per reference? Only you can decide. But it’s safe to say that it pays not to burn your bridges.