What is the Point of a Reference Check?

What is the Point of a Reference Check?

A reference check is as much a part of the job hunt as your CV is and it is important to understand why. Your CV only provides an overview of your education and experience and it must be considered as only a part of the message you put forward for yourself. You should support this message with other materials, such as your online presence, a cover letter (in some instances) and most definitely references from previous managers.

In the next few blogs we are going to look at what you can do today to ensure a great reference in the future, who you should definitely NOT give as a reference, and how to smartly select the references you put on your CV. In this blog we will touch on how multiSEARCH sees reference checks so you have a better understanding of why they are so important.

Are you being honest?

The biggest benefit a reference can give you as a job seeker is to prove that you are telling the truth on your CV. We confirm the basic details such as the time period you worked at the company and the position you held. (Remember that if you are willing to lie on your CV, we then ask the question,”What other unethical activities you are willing to do?” This is the fastest way to stay unemployed. Don’t do it!)

We also confirm some details that you would have told us in an interview; such as what projects you were involved in or why you left. This should be enough reason for you to be honest with us at all times.

What is it like to work with you?

Our job as a recruitment consultancy can be simplified to “connecting people with other people in order for them to work toward a common goal.” We recognise that the impact of doing this right reaps financial rewards for all, and doing it wrong can mean disaster for all. Our consultants ask questions that will help us understand if the candidate and employer will fit well together.

This conversation aims to provide an understanding of;

  • Your work ethic,
  • How you communicate with your colleagues and management, and
  • Are there any particular strengths and weaknesses we should know about?

We conduct the reference check to add to your CV (and interview) so that we make a decision based on quality information and not guesswork.

What if the reference is bad?

People sometimes give bad references and this is why you should be smart about who you give as a reference. There are a number of reasons that a bad reference is given. We understand that leaving a place of employment can sometimes leave bitterness behind. If you think you will get a less than perfect reference, let us know so we can expect it.

We approach a bad reference with further probing questions. This often reveals the true reason for the negative comments, which is sometimes bitterness, and sometimes the truth. Our team is trained and experienced enough to know the difference.

What can I do about my references?

There are some simple things you can do when providing references to support your CV and interview;

  1. Be honest. On your CV and in the interview
  2. Check that your references are happy to be called
  3. Trust yourself that you have put your best foot forward

If you’re happy that your CV works for you in the job hunt, make sure nothing else is harming that.


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