Are References Needed for Fresh College Graduates?

references for graduatesFresh out of school, college graduates don’t have much to show a hiring manager, so it is important to cover all bases in giving information—especially your references. Your grades are important for any employer to evaluate how you’ll do with the job, but that alone will not be enough. Because of your inexperience, your references will be even more important because these people can give insight as to your abilities outside the four walls of a classroom.

So, if you just graduated or about to graduate and would like to get ahead of the competition, here are some tips to prepare your references:

Sign up on LinkedIn – LinkedIn, a social networking site for professionals, is one of the fastest-growing websites in the world. It’s the perfect place to compile and show your professional information. If you finished your internships or done volunteering, ask your superiors to give you recommendations.

When asking for recommendations, try not to ask for generic recommendations. Make sure that they will be specific in their message, detailing what contributions you made in their organization. It’s also important to keep in mind that you should ask for recommendations as soon as possible. Don’t wait for the time when the memories have faded and they can’t or won’t give you a glowing recommendation.

Personal references – As good as the references LinkedIn can be, you still need to have references you can give to an employer to call. Not everyone would be satisfied with seeing recommendations on your LinkedIn profile; some will want to check what you can do for their company through people they can talk to.

Choosing your references – Picking people who can attest to your ability might seem easy, but you need to be wise in selecting these people. There are certain things that you should be looking for when choosing your references.

The first thing you need to consider is their willingness to vouch for you. You want someone who will be on your side and, someone who will prevent you from getting a job. Second, you want to find someone who is relevant to the job you are applying for. If you are applying for a position in accounting, you don’t need a writer talking about your ability with numbers.

Preparing your references – This is an important step for any job applicant; you need to ask the permission of your references beforehand. Don’t give their contact information without letting them know first. It will not only ruin your relationship with the person, but it will also ruin your chances of getting the job. Without preparing your references, you won’t know what they are going to say to the hiring manager.

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Alan Carniol

Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 80,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.