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It makes good business sense – and respectful professional etiquette – to stay in touch with your former bosses, as your efforts to stay connected with past employers could pay dividends many times over when they provide you with favorable professional references.

To enhance the chances of always landing the next job one wants, JobReferences suggests job seekers of all professional backgrounds follow these “Golden Rules of Job Reference Etiquette”:

  1. Call your former bosses and ask them if they are willing to provide favorable job references on your behalf. As an additional courtesy, offer them an update on your career.
  2. Let your references know every time you give out their contact information and thank them for their efforts.
  3. Keep your positive references informed of your career and educational progress. They will be more inclined to see you in a stronger light as you progress.
  4. Note that spending time communicating with your prospective employer takes valuable time from your references’ workdays. If you plan to use these positive references over the years, you need to give something back. For instance, each time your reference supports you with a new prospective employer, send them a personal thank-you letter or (at a minimum) an email. Better still, send a thank-you note with a gift card for Starbucks, or offer to take your former boss to lunch/dinner.
  5. If you win the new position, call or email your former boss and thank them again for their support. Also, let them know your new contact information.

The most important rule for job seekers is to never leave your professional references to chance. If you are not 100 percent convinced that your professional references and past employers will relay positive comments about you to prospective employers, consider having them checked out. A professional reference-checking firm can either put your mind at ease or supply you with the critical information and evidence that may be blocking your job search efforts.

So, what happens if a professional reference is indeed providing unfavorable or inaccurate information on a candidate to a prospective employer? Note there are indeed available remedies for such situations.

Jobreferences.com hears poor to bad references daily. We work with clients to explore the options available to them to assure their professional references portray them in the best light possible. The key is to first know what people are saying about them and then proactively addressing the situation as necessary.

For further details on services and procedures 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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