Pick A Referee Who Offers A Balanced View

Picking out a good referee for a job application is tough. It might seem easiest to pick a former boss who will give you a glowing review, but the Wall Street Journal recommends you choose someone who offers a more objective view.

Photo by Elliot P..

When you provide the name of a referee who only offers up positive comments, they often don’t offer up a good overall view of your performance. The paper offers one example of when this has a negative effect:

When checking references for a health-care financial officer who left a financially troubled hospital, [Grant Cooper HealthCare partner] Ms. Donohoo didn’t hear enough details about the cause of the negative financial performance. “The candidate needed to provide references that could give some detailed examples, but I just kept getting surface references who said it wasn’t his fault, that the hospital was in bad shape,” she says.

When a referee is too positive, it doesn’t provide a total picture view of your performance. Finding a balance between positive and negative is key, so when you talk to your referee beforehand be sure to tell them to provide some ideas for where you can still grow as an employee. Head over to the Wall Street Journal for more tips on picking a good referee.

Make References Work for You [Wall Street Journal]

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