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Reference Checks – Yes, they exist.


What to do with your referees.

Should you put your references right on your resume? Who should you list as a referee? Do employers actually call them? Can you list your pet? What if they trash you?

Should you put your references right on your resume?

In our experience, employers will check references about 80% of the time.

“Many managers will ask for professional references before they even go to offer,” says Tai Scriviner, a Talent Scout at Rookie Recruits.

Some recruiters argue that it’s not essential to include referees on your resume, that you could just add ‘References available on request’ at the end of your resume. However, we feel that this is only necessary if you’re having trouble finding professional referees and need more time.  If you have two or three ready to go then include them, it makes it easier for everyone. But pllleeeease make sure your referees know they are listed and are cool with it. It doesn’t work in your favour if the referee says, “Who?” or “I absolutely would not re-employ ___.”

Written references are not always necessary but it doesn’t hurt to attach them to your CV if you have them. Wouldn’t want those kind words to go unseen!

Can you use Mum, Dad, or your loyal companion Fluffy?

This may seem obvious but please pick people that like you. If you screwed over your last employer and stopped showing up rather than giving notice – probably not going to be singing your praises.

We also encourage our candidates to include professional referees. Try to include your supervisor or manager from a previous job rather than Mum, Dad, or Fluffy.

If you haven’t had a manager before, you’re a deadbeat. Just kidding! We all have to start somewhere, just pick someone you have shown your maturity and capabilities to. For example, your favourite year twelve teacher whom you had a great rapport with. They observed your work style, ability to meet deadlines, handle pressure, and work with classmates. An apple a day for a reference I’d say!

If your referee is someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time, it’s always a good idea to let them know that they should be expecting a call. Maybe you asked if they would speak on your behalf for your first babysitting job… years have passed and they need a little reminder of how awesome, mature, and considerate you are. Ideally your referee will be ‘fresh’ and years haven’t passed since you worked for them. Warn them that you are now looking for a new job and ask if it is cool for you to keep them listed. If your referee is caught off guard when they’re called, it could make you look like an ass and waste whoever is doing the reference check’s time.

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