The Importance of Reference Checks
Including references with a resume has become the new standard. No longer are the days when, ‘references available upon request’, was the norm. Now, the candidate who has two quality references ready to go is more likely to get the interview than the consultant who does not.
At Annex, we make it a priority to include completed reference checks with each submission. It is a smart idea for you as a consultant to have a few on hand for different opportunities that are tailored to your various strengths. Take the time to think strategically about you who choose to be your reference as well, as a lot of weight is put on word of mouth feedback, alongside your qualifications on paper. Is your reference mentioning positive attributes? The reference stage can make or break you in terms of getting the interview. Know your references and what they have to say about you, whether it is positive or not, and then be willing to work on anything they have for you as an improvement. Take their feedback as a chance to grow.
There is some backlash when it comes to providing references. There are many criticisms, such as the likelihood of anyone not having a positive reference. If they are all outstanding reviews, is it a real depiction of that consultant’s work? While this is understandable, and certainly has some truth to it, it’s still superior to have the good review in the pile with the others than be the consultant without one at all. The main reason for all of this, of course, is that clients have come to expect it. Some large clients make references mandatory, in particular the large public organizations.
Annex will conduct a thorough reference check up front, and we are willing to provide it with you after so that you can keep it and share it with other prospective employers.