Imagine you are planning to buy a new product, what do you first do? Look up online for reviews…Suppose, we are before the era of internet and there are no reviews, then what ? You try to find someone who have been either using the product for sometime or who have at least tried it…same is the case with hiring an employee either for consulting or full time job. Employers always want to check references. I have wrote an article on Vendors in Consulting and References, I will shed some more light in this article about references.
Importance of References for Jobs in US ?
I got a call other day from a company that checks background of employees. A colleague of mine gave me as his reference. I worked with him back in 2006. It has been over 4 years…All of a sudden I get this call and they ask me details about my colleague, his role our manager and some other stuff. Based on this scenario you can see the importance of a reference when you apply for a job even though it has been years…References are very important everywhere and they are of no less importance in America. You need to be in contact with your references and maintain that relationship. The matter of fact is most of the employers (if full time job) and vendors(consulting jobs) contact your references and ask your details and about working style etc.
How many references do you need ?
Typically two to three references are needed from a company. Ideally, companies want references from your direct manager, if not at least some one who hired you or do your resource management. One manager and one colleague would be ideal from each company you worked before.
How many Companies references do you need ? How many years ?
Typically, when you are applying for full time jobs or consulting jobs they ask references from the three most recent companies or last 4 to 5 years of employment. There is no hard fast rule, but the more the better. You should be prepared to supply references from companies in the last 5 years or at least last three companies. It can be hard at times, but you might have to provide the info for reference check as per policies of the companies.
What are your thoughts on references? How many did you give?
Image Credit : http://fortysouth.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/job-references.jpg