Choosing Your References Wisely

August 21st, 2014 by Dodie

References. Yes, we all know they play a role when it comes to getting a job or into an apartment/house. But do you truly realize the vitally important role that they play?

When you realistically look at how important a reference is, you may choose whom you put down a little better. It’s safe to say they are the determining factor to you getting the job you want or being able to live where you want to live. Everyone knows that when you’re applying for either a job or somewhere to live, there’s going to be a background check or a tenant screening process. Although they do differ depending upon what you’re applying for, it is a reality that your background will be looked into nonetheless.

When applying for a job, they’re going to most likely want a reference of someone you’ve previously worked for. But do they want that reference to be someone you were really good friends with at the job? They don’t. Why? A friend will definitely want what’s best for you, and if you’re looking for a job, they’re going to want you to get it. They won’t tell the employer anything bad or negative about you. They’re going to paint the best picture of you, say all the nice things you can imagine so that you get what you’re applying for. Employers want the truth and generally, the whole truth won’t be gotten from a friend. If they find out your friendly relations, chances are your references will be deemed invalid and could even get you rejected.

When looking for references for a potential future employer, it’s best to go with someone you’ve previously worked for. The best person would be a direct supervisor or team lead, someone that could see you in action on a daily basis and give a true testament of your work ethics. He or she must be someone who could give an accurate account of your attendance history, say if you’ve followed directions correctly and met or exceeded expectations for the job description that you were to follow, or if you failed and didn’t want to comply with rules and regulations set out for you.

In terms of a landlord, they’re going to want to speak or hear from previous landlords. They want an idea of what they may be getting into if they choose to go with you for the apartment or house. They’re going to want to know about your payment history – if you paid on time, missed some months, or constantly had excuses as to why you couldn’t pay. Your cleanliness, and hopefully not lack of it, will also concern them. It’s important to know if you’ve trashed previous places or had previous issues with pests, anything along those lines. How long were you renting under the previous landlord? That will also be a big factor that new landlords will be looking into. Stability is key for a landlord; he definitely doesn’t want to have a tenant that will leave within a few months.

It is then best that before you give your previous landlord as reference person, and even before you actually leave, that is, if he already knows it, make sure you find out from him what he is going to say should he get a call for a reference check on you. It’s not to ask him to lie for anything negative he has to say. It’s to prepare yourself and have a ready and thought-out explanation should the potential landlord asks. Also, it’s to work out whatever conflict you have with the previous/current landlord, which may also hopefully bring his future comments to the more positive side.

When you have people that are going to be a reference for you, you want to ensure that they’re going to give a good reference. You can make sure they have all the right information and that it is up to date and accurate; you don’t want them to say something that’s different from what you’ve put down on your application or given in an interview. Something else you can do is stay in contact with them. There is nothing worse than a call about someone you’ve forgotten.

Your reference is important no matter what situation. Make sure you choose wisely. It can make a difference on whether you get what you’re applying for or you don’t.

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