Alliance Resources

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How to Manage Your References For Future Job Success

The summer months are a valuable time of self-reflection and career decision-making for Accounting and Finance professionals. It’s a good time to carefully weigh career options as you wrap up mid-year assessments and plan year-end goals.

There are more Accounting and Finance jobs than people to fill open positions in Southern California. It continues to be a strong job market across the sector with ample opportunities for top talent. Now is the time to explore the options that will advance your career. As you prepare for a potential job search, ensure that you’ve got the basics covered:

But here’s one thing you might not know. Hiring managers are moving faster than ever to snap up talent, so you should have your professional references ready once that offer comes in.

Here are five tips for actively managing your references.

1) Update your contact list: Accuracy is critical, and it may have been a while since you last reviewed your list. Ensure emails and phone numbers are current. Confirm titles and company names.

2) Select contacts carefully: When considering who will be a good reference, consider your relationship with that person, significant projects on which you collaborated, or a leadership position where you excelled. Choose former colleagues and peers who can speak to your skillset and expertise. If you haven’t talked recently, use this opportunity to reconnect. Share a fond memory or express how they impacted your career. Seeking a reference can be a great opportunity to reinforce and build your professional network.

3) Format your list professionally: Take time to format your list so that it looks as professional as your resume and cover letter. Use the same font and ensure there are no typos. Be consistent in how you detail the information for each person. Include your position at the time as well as your reference’s name, current title, where you worked together, and their contact information (email and phone number). Also, include a brief description of your professional relationship.

4) Show courtesy to your references: Before sharing contact details, tell references that you are interviewing for a new position and have advanced to a reference check. Ask permission to share their information, and give them some basic information about the company, the job you are interviewing for, and any details that might make their reference more relevant. Don’t blindside a reference or put them on the spot without adequate notice.

5) Express gratitude: Follow up promptly with a note of thanks when references confirm they are willing to help. Once you are hired, reach out again to share the good news and tell them how much you appreciate their willingness to speak on your behalf. End your email or conversation with an offer to assist in their future endeavors. When asking for support, it’s critical to reciprocate it in return.

Planning your next career move requires preparation, research, and practice. Alliance Resource Group is here to help.