Having employment references available is key to getting any job in this day and age. This is still despite the fact that western society has made giving references more and more difficult for individuals. That being said, employment referencing may be even more difficult mainly due to the nature of the reference itself.

Employment Referencing: Are Your Referees Unavailable?

Some references aren’t even available or even cause problems for you in a variety of ways. Perhaps this is your first time entering the work force and have no tangible references. Maybe your references live outside the country. Some referees have even retired or the company they worked with went out of business.

Whatever the case, this can pose a problem for your future, however there is a way around it. Indeed references are very important, but not all jobs are based solely on references.

Why Employers Request Employment References

The main objective with employment referencing is that the employer is looking at your work ethic. They’re looking to see if you are both reliable and effective at handling the job you might be given. This is where the references come in as they can attest your ability to do the work.

It’s tradition for employers to ask for employment referencing after the interview is over and they want to learn more.

They’ll also use this opportunity to verify what you have said or written is true. That being said, employers use the employment referencing process in a variety of other ways as well:

  • Some will want to check references first before an interview.
  • Some don’t like references outside of local boroughs or outside of the country.
  • Some hire employees on a probation period if they believe the references are exaggerating the positive skills.
  • Some will hire even when you lack employment references if you perform well in the hiring process, provide a reasonable explanation of your specific situation, or provide alternative references such as a character reference or from volunteer work.

How To Make The Most Out Of It

If you are in a situation where employment referencing is an issue, here are some things you can consider:

  • Polish your career skills along with your job searching skills. When your skills, experiences, and overall attitude fit well with what the employers are searching for, they may rely less on references when deciding who to hire. There are many online learning platforms including LinkedIn Learning which can be used to enhance your skills.
  • Have contacts or documents available as an alternative employment referencing source:
  • People from different areas of your life such as volunteer work, religious affiliations, landlords, teachers, etc.
  • Material or documents pertaining to projects you were involved in. Ideally ones that show off your skills and work attitude.
  • Evaluations, recognition letters, thank-you letters, as well as written comments from clients or customers work as well.
  • Consider how you manage your references.
  • Place on your resume that you offer references only on request.
  • If an application requests for references, instead attach your resume with the line ‘references upon request’ at the bottom.
  • Ask permission from referees before putting them down as a referee. You’ll also need phone numbers that you can provide some employers to contact them.
  • Coach your referees by sharing relevant information about the position you are going for. You can also prepare them for the type of questions they may get.
  • Provide printed references in the event your referee is unable to speak. A letter of recommendations is a good avenue and you can use them in the future so make copies.

If you would like to learn more about how RefNow's automated Employment Referencing software can help your organisation, reach out to us today and get your first 5 checks free.