07 Jun Let’s Talk About References, Shall We?
For most folks with at least a few years of professional experience as a #civilengineer, #landsurveyor, or #landscapearchitect who are looking to make a move, please know that your next employer may ask you to provide a few professional references who can vouch for you and your abilities.
I realize reference checking seems like a waste of time, I mean, who in their right mind would provide a reference that was anything less than “rock solid” ?
🤦🏽♂️You would be surprised 🤦🏻♀️
That said, here are couple of things you should consider / steps you should take when identifying who would fall under the definition of “rock solid” :
👉🏾Be prepared to offer references of peers, supervisors, employees you have supervised, and clients…you should keep a stable of at least two in each of those categories.
👉🏻When asked to provide references, create a list of all potential candidates, and then narrow your list down to the references that can provide the greatest value specific to the role you are being considered for.
👉Once you have compiled your short list, PICK UP THE PHONE and call your references. This call should be used to catch that reference up to speed in regards to what you’ve been doing, why you are looking to make a move, and the role you are being considered for. Let your reference know why the opportunity is important to you and ask them if they would be willing to provide a positive reference.
👉🏽If your desired reference indicates they would be happy to provide a reference, perfect. If your desired reference indicates they would NOT be comfortable for ANY reason, or if you sense hesitation from them, ask them about that so you can get an understanding as to why, and then use their feedback to make improvements in whatever area they did not feel comfortable endorsing you in. Thank them for that, and move on.
👉🏼Once you have solidified your references:
➡️Be sure to let them know who will be contacting them and what their role is.
➡️Find out what phone number and email they would prefer to communicate through.
➡️Find out their availability.
Your potential employer will appreciate this information and it shows you are organized and proactive.
👉🏽 When references are completed and you accept your new offer, be sure to reach out to your references in some way and thank them for taking the time to share with your new employer the positive reference they provided. Find out if there are ways you can potentially benefit that person in your new role, and if you are willing to return the favor for them sometime let them know!