YOUR QUES­TIONS AN­SWERED

WHO SHOULD I ASK TO BE MY REF­EREE? DO THEY NEED TO BE MY IM­ME­DI­ATE MAN­AGER?

The Weekend Post - - Careers - email ques­tions to ca­reer­s_qs@news.com.au

EX­PE­RI­ENCED DARREN BUCHANAN MAN­AG­ING DI­REC­TOR, HAYS QUEENS­LAND

The ref­er­ees re­cruiters and em­ploy­ers value the most are the peo­ple you re­ported to di­rectly. Th­ese peo­ple can speak about your skills, ex­pe­ri­ence and how you added value to their depart­ment or or­gan­i­sa­tion. For­mer man­agers can also speak about your per­sonal at­tributes, such as re­li­a­bil­ity, col­lab­o­ra­tion and in­ter­per­sonal skills. It’s a good idea to keep track of where your ref­er­ees are as they too may have moved on from the or­gan­i­sa­tion where you both once worked. There’s also eti­quette – ask your ref­er­ees if they’re still happy to speak on your be­half be­fore pro­vid­ing their de­tails.

MID-CA­REER AN­DREA DAVEY CHIEF OP­ER­AT­ING OF­FI­CER, EM­PLOY­MENT OF­FICE

When it comes to ref­er­ees, the best peo­ple to list are those you re­ported to, and those you re­ported to most re­cently. Warn­ing bells go off in a re­cruiter’s head if a can­di­date has only listed ref­er­ees from a num­ber of po­si­tions ago, if none of their ref­er­ees are peo­ple the can­di­date re­ported to, or if all of their ref­er­ees are per­sonal rather than pro­fes­sional. If you haven’t told your cur­rent em­ployer that you’re look­ing for other po­si­tions, ex­plain this to the re­cruiter – they’ll most likely un­der­stand and will ac­cept a reference from your di­rect su­per­vi­sor in the job you held be­fore your cur­rent role.

UP & COM­ING JULIE FORD SE­NIOR EX­EC­U­TIVE CON­SUL­TANT, McARTHUR

Ideally your ref­eree should be the man­ager you re­ported to in your cur­rent or pre­vi­ous com­pany. When con­duct­ing reference checks I look for con­fir­ma­tion you have the ca­pa­bil­ity to per­form the stated tasks in your pre­vi­ous job and/or the abil­ity to step up to new chal­lenges. Your man­ager is the best per­son to ver­ify this in­for­ma­tion as they have been re­spon­si­ble for man­ag­ing and mea­sur­ing your per­for­mance while em­ployed with them. Ad­di­tion­ally, they can con­firm your achieve­ments, at­ten­dance/punc­tu­al­ity, team spirit and at­ti­tude – all as im­por­tant as job skills.

THE EX­PERT DR NERIDA HILLBERG DI­REC­TOR OF PSY­CHOL­OGY, FER­RIS MAN­AGE­MENT CON­SUL­TANTS

Ideally, ref­er­ees should be able to at­test to your re­cent work per­for­mance. Prac­ti­cally how­ever, there are a range of rea­sons you may not want your im­me­di­ate man­ager to be con­tacted about a po­ten­tial new role. It places you in quite a com­pro­mised po­si­tion if you aren’t of­fered the role, as your man­ager now knows of your in­ten­tions to de­part. For th­ese rea­sons, I ad­vise pro­vid­ing a prior, re­cent man­ager as your ref­eree. Al­ways seek their per­mis­sion first and check that the con­tact de­tails you have for them are cur­rent. En­sure you also thank them.

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