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Job Reference Checks

How to Rehearse Your References

Is it ethical to "rehearse" your references for reference checks?

Sure, as long as you don't hold a loaded pistol to their heads and demand what they should say!

The idea is not to tell them what to say during reference checks, but rather to guide and equip them in advance, so you all tell the same story.

The same goes when requesting reference letters. If written well, some employers might accept them instead of conducting reference checks.

Properly equipped, your references can start thinking about what they're going to say during reference checks, before they're on the spot and under pressure.

They might even be grateful that you helped to prepare them in advance, to ease the pressure.

It also gives you some measure of control over what they say, that you wouldn't have otherwise (without a loaded pistol, anyway).

Here's how to rehearse your references for job reference checks:

  • Send your references a copy of your current resume and cover letter, so they'll know exactly what information you are submitting to your potential employers.
  • Refresh their memories with details of your skills, work habits and accomplishments. Point out specific accomplishments.
  • Provide details of the jobs for which you've applied, so they can picture you in the roles.
  • Give them a list of the types of questions that background investigators might ask during reference checks. The next page provides such a list.

Next Page > Sample Reference Check Questions
Page > 1 ● 2 ● 3

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