Job Seekers: Don't Play 'Trust Fall' Game with Your References (I Mean It!)

By J.T. O'Donnell I read this post by a colleague, Heather Huhman, over at her blog today where she had it out with an angry job seeker who thought references don't mean anything. (Ironically, his nasty attitude explains why he most likely hasn't been hired.) AND, earlier in the week, another colleague, Alison Green, wrote about the 4 biggest myths about job references on her blog. Like Heather and Alison, I am regularly asked whether references make a difference. Simple answer: YES! References get checked all the time (read Heather's post to hear a first-hand account of a reference check gone bad). So, if you haven't made 200% sure the references you are listing for potential employers are: A) willing to be a reference. AND, B) going to say good things about you. Then, you are risking losing the job offer. Do you really want to go through the hassle of finding a job (apply, interview, etc.) only to get nixed in the end by a weak reference? Analogy to Drive My Point Home...The Trust Fall Not having good references is like playing that trust fall game where you are blindfolded and expected to tip backwards into a group of people's arms. HOWEVER, imagine you don't how many people are there or if they are even willing to put their hands out. Would you risk it? I doubt it! When it comes down to the final phase of the hiring process, you must make sure your references are strong and in position to react positively when they get the call from a potential employer. Heather even founded a company to help people with their references called, Come Recommended. Here are her two golden rules when it comes to references: Rule #1: Ask your intended references if they would be willing to serve as your references. Rule #2: Ask your intended references what they would say about you if called by a hiring manager. You don’t want any surprises! Now is not the time to risk losing out on a great opportunity over something you have control over. I hope this post proves that referencs do matter!

When most people think of Nike, they think of shoes, retail stores, and, of course, athletes. That's all true, but there's more. Behind Nike's walls, you'll find the doers and thinkers who design, create, and innovate every day. There are also data scientists who discover and leverage athlete insights to create the future of sport.

You might be surprised to learn about the impact you can have in Data & Analytics at Nike versus at a major tech giant. Nike employees get to work on a wide array of challenges, so if you're obsessed with math, science, computers, and/or data, and you love sport, these stories may inspire you to work at Nike.

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Employee loyalty is something every company longs for. It's estimated employee turnover costs as much as 130-200% of an employee's salary. When a talented, knowledgeable, trained employee leaves, it's bad for business. And, when lots of them leave, it can be the kiss of death.

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If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the interview situation one of our viewers, Remi submitted. He was in an interview and was asked the question: How many cows are there in Canada right now? - What a weird question but this is a technique that some hiring managers are using these days.

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All work and no play can create a tense and unwelcoming environment. Studies have shown that employers that offer additional perks have employees that are happier and more loyal to their place of employment. If you are looking for an employer that acknowledges how important it is to give its employees a place to de-stress and bond with their co-workers, check out these companies!

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In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if you worked for an owner who micro-manages you my watching you work on camera and reading through your company emails.

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

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