If you are in the midst of job hunting, you want to know what is required by the company for the job application. These documents usually include a cover letter, a resume and a list of references. Other than papers’ classifieds, online job portals are becoming increasingly popular as it simplifies searches. Malaysian job seekers can look for ‘jawatan kosong’, as the locals commonly refer to job vacancies, at http://www.maukerja.my for full-time, part-time, internship and even temporary positions.
References hold the ultimate key for employer to decide whether or not to hire a person. Although not all companies require a list of references, it poses advantage to be included in your application. References should not be attached to your resume but should be on a separate document. The rule of thumb is to list three references, respective job titles, company, address, phone number and e-mail address.
There can be two types of reference. A professional reference will vouch for your qualifications appropriate for the job. This may encompass employer, colleague, client, partner and business contact. On the other hand, a character or personal reference will vouch for your skills and personal attributes. This can be a supervisor, business manager, business acquaintance, or your academic advisor. Companies do not fix their time of call – it can happen before or after they interviewed you. References may even become the decisive factor for an interview invitation.
The common courtesy is to ask for permission before making someone your reference. Your references should expect a call or a mail. It can be bad news for you if they don’t know what is going on when a company calls in. You don’t want to lose a reference’s trust in the process of gaining a good job. Take care of your references by limiting the number of contact details given out. Keep in touch regularly even if it’s through SMS or e-mail.
A Taiwanese graduate once listed his university professor as a reference. When an interested company contacted the professor, he remarked to the recruiter that the graduate looked arrogant based on a recollected impression. Although the professor did not mean any offence, this remark cost the graduate a new job opportunity. So, learn to manage your expression. Smile whenever you can, instead of showing unintentional grumpiness. Chances are, some of your references may not be able to recall you as a whole, but if you were mindful of your social life you would have wanted to leave a good impression everywhere you go. Or at least, get people to remember your smile.