September 10, 2008
Six Degrees of References
Public Relations Senior Account Manager
Develop and manage regional and national media relations programs. Requires strong track record of media relations successes, from strategy through execution, plus some crisis communications background. Must be prepared to handle complex workload while creating breakthrough ideas. Agency experience preferred.
Your References Can Be Your Most Precious Asset
As competition heats up for some categories of jobs in marketing/communications and sites for resume harvesting become ubiquitous, the references of the job seeker can become his/her best asset.
It’s a good idea to protect and maintain your references with your very best efforts.
We suggest you try to keep track of your key former supervisors and co-workers for at least five to seven years past your active association. As your jobs and responsibilities change, you may need to have some new testimonial quotes about different aspects of your experience or contributions. It’s always a sad surprise to talk with job candidates who cannot provide contact information for former supervisors. Sometimes that can keep you from delivering a reference that could seal the deal.
Be sure to alert your references when you’re getting ready to share their information. These contacts are golden, and you want to keep them in the loop and protect them from being contacted by those companies in whom you are not truly interested.
Many people forget that clients and vendors (current or former) can be extremely effective references. They can speak to your professionalism, knowledge, relationship-building skills, ethics, and much more.
Why not look for creative ways to use quotes from your references? What if they could spice up your cover letter or be used as extra flavor in your resume? We’ve seen that make the difference in who gets the interview.
And at the end of the process, a stellar reference can make the difference in who gets the offer.