Need A Good Reference? Ask A Former Colleague.

March 18th, 2010

businessreferenceAre you out of a job? So is more than 10% of the United States population. It’s a difficult time for people who are actively looking for work, and the situation is not likely to improve anytime soon.

Job seekers are well-advised to arm themselves with a full arsenal of tools, including a powerful resume and the right attire for an interview. One of the most important and sometimes overlooked resources is a good reference. A few positive comments from a qualified person can have an amazing impact.

Everyone who is hunting for a job should enlist a minimum of three people who are willing to offer a glowing review. Employers often rely on comments from other business professionals to help them make a final determination about which candidate to hire. That makes it more important than ever to maintain reputable business contacts.

Chances are you’ve worked at several different companies through the years. You may not have kept in touch with your former co-workers, but relax, it’s never too late to reconnect. Before you start your job search, reach out to people from your past and rebuild your network of contacts.

The first step is to find people. Your old business cards and contact information may be outdated, but you can use PeopleFinders.com to find anyone, anywhere. Try a People Search to learn where your former colleagues are today. Prefer to contact people online? Start a 24-hour or 30-day Email Membership to get all the email addresses you need.

When you reach out to people from your past, you’ll want to spend time catching up, but make sure to get to the point. Let them know you are looking for a job and ask if they would be willing to give you a good reference. If the person knows you have a strong work ethic they will be happy to say good things on your behalf.

Not every former co-worker makes an ideal reference. Talk to a variety of people and determine who would be the best reference for a particular job. Your best option is to ask for specific recommendations from people who work in a related industry. Their comments will have more weight with a prospective employer.

Searching for a job can be a difficult and frustrating process. Be patient, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Someone from your past may help provide a link to your future career. Don’t forget to express your gratitude to everyone who is willing to help, and be prepared to do the same. At some point you may be asked to return the favor.

Good jobs may be more difficult to find these days, but they do exist. Put your best foot forward, turn to former colleagues for references and take charge of your future. Good luck out there; and thank you for reading the PeopleFinders People Search blog.

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