Saturday, May 4, 2013

good words

The last month has been a whirlwind of work and home and dog stuff and while I have had all kinds of time to write in my head, nothing made it to print.

This should remedy the problem.

How do you provide good references?

I have a pretty good system that I like to recommend to people when answering the reference question. Most hiring employers ask for references - several business and some personal though I am not quite sure what good a personal reference is - unless the question predates background checks.

Interviewers might ask for references that include supervisors and colleagues.  I suggest answering the question but with a slight differentiation.  I suggest to people who are job seeking to be able to provide references for the following categories:

- how you lead
- how you collaborate
- how you influence

In the end, it’s about how you get it done, whatever IT is.  There will be times in your job when you just get to make the decision.  Maybe not as many as you like, and that's where collaboration is important.  And there will be times when you have no input and yet still have to get things done - with people who may have no interest in your needs - and that's where influence comes in handy.

These should be enough.  These are the questions I want answered in references and these are going to be questions your references should be able to answer about you.

Should you be looking now, make sure that your references know when they might be contacted.  When I have served as a reference, I always make sure to have an understanding of the job responsibilities, as well as key points she/he would like me to highlight.

Good references can make a world of difference.  I've seen it first hand.  Good words matter.

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