Article Title: When I refer to references...
Author Byline: the medical sales recruiter
Author Website:

References are so often an after thought, but they shouldn’t be. They should be on your mind (at least once a month). Even if you are not currently looking for a job. Let me explain. I will start with the negatives (those things you should pay attention to not do!).

1. Don’t give me (the recruiter) or your employer conquest a reference that can hardly remember you.

2. Make certain that your reference can see you in the job that you are looking to get….(I had one lady tell me that all she could say about my sales candidate was that she was very good in her laboratory - very meticulous). Great. That same lady could have said that the candidate showed a lot of leadership, was very persuasive and thrived in interactive meetings. What a difference that would make.

3. Prepare your references. So and so may call. This is the type of job that I am pursuing. This is very important to me. Please call me once you have talked with the “reference checker” (this will make the reference more responsive to the “reference call” and will give you a heads up about how the process is moving. Remind them of what amazing things (specifically) you did for the reference when you worked there. Help their memory along….

4. Don’t give me your college roommate. I want a work reference. A relevant reference. A great reference.


Collect references in your career. Stay in touch. You can’t expect to get the incredible reference that you are looking for if the reference has not heard from you in 5 years. This all goes to the networking needs of the professional. Before you exit a company, ask your current boss for their personal email and phone number. Stress that you want to stay in touch and could you use them for a reference in the future. Then stay in touch. Every 4-5 months, drop them an email or call. Ask them if there is anything that you can do for them…..Help others, they will definitely help you! Link up with them on LinkedIn.Com. Collect these references. When someone that can speak to your skill sets announces that they are leaving for greener pastures…what am I going to say? Yes. Ask them if you can have their personal email and phone number. Explain that you really enjoyed working with them and you want to keep in touch. Then do so…If a manager (not your direct manager) is leaving…perhaps they will feel comfortable attesting to your work ethic, drive, success at whatever task you took on.

I had a great candidate that my client company was not excited about…The candidate perceived that there was a roadblock and had one of his references call me to proactively tell me about this candidate. That is impressive. And that is what gets you the job.

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities

Views: 338

Comment by Peggy McKee on March 30, 2008 at 5:35pm
Thank you for posting my article!
Peggy McKee
Medical Sales Recruiter


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