When should you provide your references

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

People will likely encounter an awkward conversation about references at some point in their job search. Either a job seeker will offer up a list to a potential employer, or someone will ask for a list of references. What are the best practices for providing references? Who are the best people to pick? 

References should be pre-determined and pre-checked AT THE BEGINNING of your search. They should consist of people who can attest to your competence and impact on an organization.

When should you provide your references?

It depends upon when and by whom the request is made. If it is a 3rd party contingency recruiter, during an initial screen asks for them, politely decline. “Once we get further along, I’d be happy to provide it to your client.” You should decline because often it is a ruse to get the names of hiring managers from whom they can get recruiting assignments. Pretty slimy.

The same thing with a company recruiter at a first interview. They don’t need to compile the names of people. “I’d be happy to provide them once we are at a point where you are considering an offer. It’s much too soon for them to be tapped into.” If they actually are at an offer phase, I did a video for JobSearchTV.com on YouTube about this a few years ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGjB3wL2ib0


Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2022 



Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2300 episodes. He also hosts Job Search TV on YouTube, Amazon and Roku, as well as on BingeNetworks.tv for Apple TV and 90+ smart sets.

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