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I have an initial interview with an agency (direct hire) tomorrow and they've asked for 2-3 supervisory, 2-3 peer, and 2-3 subordinate references.

Is it just me or is that quite a lot of references?

The more pressing question I have is:

What kind of format should I use for this reference sheet? I've already got my spiffy one-page resume.

Right now, my references page looks something like this:

[quote][b]References for
ash denver[/b]

[u]Supervisory References[/u]

Name - phone
Title, Company Name

Name - phone
Title, Company Name

Name - phone
Title, Company Name

[u]Peer References[/u]

Name - phone
Title, Company Name

** Name - phone
Title, Company Name

Name - phone
Title, Company Name

[u]Subordinate References[/u]

Name - phone
Title, Company Name

** Name - phone
Title, Company Name

Name - phone
Title, Company Name

** Please do not contact this reference until an offer has been extended.[/quote]
Am I in the right area on this? (I don't want people I'm working with now to know I'm on the hunt and I was also told specifically to notate any "do not contact" references.)

wendii's picture

Ash..

it's taken me an hour to try and find words for .. are they mad? And I havn't.

Anyway.. if this is the hoop they want you to jump through, your format looks fine to me.

Wendii

Mark's picture

I agree with Wendii. They are clumsy.

I don't think you can tell them not to contact anyone until after they offer you - what would be the point?

Because checking references is an acceptable activity, the candidate accepts the risk mitigation role. ONLY choose references who will not reveal your candidacy to anyone for whom that information could be used against you. If you doubt that from anyone on your list, REMOVE THEM.

Your format is fine.

stephenbooth_uk's picture

[quote="mahorstman"]Because checking references is an acceptable activity, the candidate accepts the risk mitigation role. ONLY choose references who will not reveal your candidacy to anyone for whom that information could be used against you. If you doubt that from anyone on your list, REMOVE THEM.[/quote]

In my experience offers are typically made 'subject to references', i.e. if a referee gives a bad reference or refuses to supply a reference (it's rare that anyone will give a bad reference for fear of being sued for libel/slander) then the offer will be withdrawn. Is it different in the US?

The problem with references being taken up before an offer is made, again in my experience, is that very often prospective employers will insist that one or more referees be someone who might use the information that you're looking for a job change against you, usually your current line manager. If you have a fairly free choice in who you give as a reference then you're OK, but increasingly recruiters are asking for specific references. I remember going for one job where the recruiter wanted references for everything I'd done from age 16 (I was 29 at the time but it would have been the same if I was 59) and it had to be a specific person (e.g. if in work then your line manager, if at school then the head/principal, if at college/university then your personal tutor &c), I'd had a couple of periods of unemployment (6 months when I first left university and just over a year when a fixed term contract came to an end) for which I couldn't supply a referee so was rejected for the job. I'm told that often recruiters won't accept a referee if the address for them isn't the same as the address of the company it's for (so if you and your boss get layed off at the same time then you're sunk).

One possible reason for this spoecificity over references could be that there's been an ongoing problem with honesty of potential recruits for sometime, including people faking references. It was reported in the Guardian yesterday (WPM column in the Office Hours section, second item) that 10% of recent graduates think that it's perfectly OK to fake a reference (apparently 60% think that flirting with the interviewer is the best way to get through a job interview).

Stephen