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Be Sure a Key Job Reference Isn’t Your “Weakest Link”

Picture this scenario: You’ve just “nailed” that second interview and your prospective employer appeared enthusiastic about you. They may even have suggested that you were the leading candidate, or that the job was practically yours. You left the interview with high hopes, waiting for that formal job offer you’d hoped (or expected) within the next few days.

But then…no word. You politely followed up and were told that the company had “decided to go in a different direction”, with a different candidate. Your prospects had looked so good with this opportunity – was it simply a case of a better candidate in an already challenging economy? Or could it have been something else?

Variations on this unfortunate theme are heard from clients almost daily at JobReferences, a reference checking organization of 30 years. Aside from the understandable disappointment and frustration of losing out on a seemingly strong job prospect, clients are also burdened with the uncertainty of why they did not ultimately get the job. For their own legal protection, prospective employers will virtually never reveal to a candidate that they were not selected as the result of one of their references, or their background check. Instead, employers simply allude to other candidates with stronger credentials, or a change in corporate direction, or – more likely – simply never respond back to the candidate with any kind of input. The candidate is left wondering whether there was more to the rejection than met the eye – without knowing for certain if this was indeed the case.

Fortunately, companies like JobReferences are able to shed light on why job seekers may not have gotten that all-important job offer. By conducting a reference check(s) on one’s former employer, they can identify whether the input from that party could be damaging in the eyes of a prospective employer. When this is the case – as it is in approximately 50% of reference checks conducted by JobReferences – the client will have some form of remedial action available to them (if they wish it) to discourage a negative reference from ever offering such commentary again.

If you – or someone you know – is in this situation, consider the “peace of mind” factor of knowing, not surmising, what your key references may be saying about you. The employment stakes are high, and the competition for every new job is already challenging enough – be sure that one of your references isn’t the “weak link” in your attainment of that next new job.

For further information, please visit www.jobreferences.com.

About Allison Taylor

Allison & Taylor Inc. and its principals have been in the business of checking references for individuals and corporate accounts since 1984. We have successfully built our brand and corporate recognition and have been recommended by industry specialists such as The New York Times award-winning author Martin Yate (“Knock ‘Em Dead Résumés”). Numerous articles have been published about our business in newspapers and magazines including The Christian Science Monitor, The Wall Street Journal, Glamour Magazine, New Woman, Worth, National Business Employment Weekly, The Detroit News, and The St. Petersburg Times.

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