3 Reasons Why Showcasing Your Personality during Job Interview is Essential

Being a suitable job candidate for a specific position in a company requires more than a well-written CV. While having confidence could be one of the biggest advantages to being a candidate of choice, it might not be enough to secure a job offer. Job seekers must go beyond just well-written resumes by showcasing their personality.

See also: 4 Tips to Find a Job that Fits and Suits You

According to Heckman et al., personality has been a scientifically-proven predictor of job performance and assessing a candidate’s behavioural tendencies in a work environment. This allows recruiters to determine whether a candidate will be a top performer and if he/she will fit the culture of the company. Recruiter Experts cited there are three more advantages for job seekers when showcasing their personality during an interview: 

1- Your personality is a success indicator 

Personality is the driving force behind how one thinks, feels, acts, adapts and works. The stories you share in a job interview regarding past experiences can be an indicator of how you will deal with adversity and opportunity. Potential employers want a glimpse into your future successes and failures. Often, the simplest indicator is your personality. 

2- Skills can be taught, personality cannot 

More and more companies are realising that skills and knowledge can be gained on the job. However, personality is hardwired. If you come to the table with a personality that matches with a company’s culture, other technical skills can be learned over time. 

3- Culture is king 

Your personality can indicate that you will build good culture in a company which will create a healthy place to work, not only for yourself but also for others. 

Using insights from personality assessments and your past experiences to really understand what an ideal environment looks like will lead you to the right career path. Remember, it needs to be a fit on both sides. There is no use in denying your personality. 

Read also: 10 Suitable Jobs for YOU Who are Bad Communicators

Dos & Don'ts when Asking Questions to Recruiter

If you, as a candidate, are enthusiastic during an interview, the chance of getting hired is higher. An interview session is a place where you can figure out whether the job and workplace culture is a fit for you. Therefore, don’t hesitate to ask the questions you prepare beforehand to the interviewer.

See also: 6 Phrases to AVOID When Applying for Job and Interview

Here are the dos and don’ts that will help you get the most out of every question you ask: 

DO

  • Ask your most pressing questions first. These could be about the culture, goals of your future team or how performance will be evaluated.
  • Ask probing questions. Consider asking which personality traits are most common among the most successful employees, or what employees enjoy most about working there. 
  • Ask interviewers about their own career paths. For example, ask them how they decided to go into their field, or what steps they took within the company to attain their current position.
  • Ask about challenges. What will make this job difficult? What will you need to overcome?
  • Ask for their contact information and whether you can connect with them for further information.

DON’T

  • Don’t ask questions to sound smart. For example, interrupting the recruiter before he/she finishes their questions, just because you know the better option or better solution to the question asked. 
  • Don’t ask about something you could find online. This might make the recruiter think that you haven’t done your homework well. Remember that searching and researching information about the company before an interview is vital to your interview success. 
  • Don’t be unprofessional. You should limit yourself when asking questions even when the recruiter says that you can ask anything, NEVER ask about personal life, such as marital status, his/her personal salary, etc. 
  • Don’t push. If the hiring manager won’t answer your question, it’s best to leave it alone.

Read also: How to Discuss a Gap Year in an Interview

Tips to Find a Job that Fits and Suits You 

Chester Elton, an executive coach and author, said that too many people (job seekers) get caught up in the company’s reputation and brand. The truth is, working in a high-value company is not always a good fit for everyone. Elton suggested that if job seekers want to find a job that fits their personality, they should question more about whether their own brand and personality align with the company values, not their reputation or brand. 

Here are 4 tips from Elton for job seekers who yearn to work in a job that suits and fits them. 

1- Create a mentor network 

Having a mentor network is not only a good place to get advice, but also where you can turn to when it’s time to find a new job. You can include a mix of friends, family, classmates, professors and other advisors in your network. As your professional and personal networks expand, make sure to connect with people both in-person and online to develop a mentor network that is right for you. You should also expand your circle and select a diverse network. Be proactive about who you choose as a mentor because different people can be helpful at various stages of your career. 

See also: 10 Suitable Jobs for YOU Who are Bad Communicators 

2- Take a personality assessment 

Your personality is your biggest asset. It can certainly tip the scale in your favour during an interview process. You can use the assessment result of the personality test to target companies and roles that match your values and personality, thus you can work in a field that you enjoy the most. Here is one of the best and free personality tests you can try. 

3- Research company culture 

Matching your value to a company is key to success. When the company culture aligns with your needs and values as an employee, you will likely have better performance, engagement, and better teamwork organisation. Company culture is also the key to your own wellbeing, thus keep in mind to conduct research on the culture of the firm you want to work at. 

4- Get out fast if it does not fit 

While your first job is important, do not be afraid to make a change if it does not work as you expected. You should be your biggest advocate and adviser because a job that irritates you will only result negatively to your own personal and professional life. For instance, if you stay longer in a job that you do not enjoy, your stress level might increase significantly. Consequently, not only will you have lower productivity, but it will also affect the relationship with the people around you. Another alternative, you can speak to your manager about reshaping the position and if it does not work, you might need to seek a new opportunity elsewhere. 

Read also: Pros and Cons of Working in the Journalism Industry 

10+ Suitable Careers for Psychology Graduates 

Opportunities for graduates with degrees in psychology are expanding in number as well as in scope. The move towards preventing mental illness rather than diagnosing and treating it requires people to learn how to make healthy behaviour as part of living. In fact, many of the problems we are facing today are problems of behaviour, such as chronic health conditions or diseases, drug addiction, poor personal relationships, and violence. As a psychologist, you will contribute solutions to these problems through careful collection of data, analysis of data, and the development of intervention strategies. 

Subfields in psychology 

Many psychology graduates can teach psychology in academic institutions, from high schools to graduate programs in universities. Other subfields that graduates can pursue include the following: 

  • A clinical psychologist who assesses and treats mental, emotional, and behavioural disorders.
  • A cognitive and perceptual psychologist who studies human perception, thinking and memory. 
  • A community psychologist who works to strengthen the abilities of communities, settings, an organisation, and broader social systems to meet people’s needs. 
  • A counselling psychologist who helps people recognise their strengths and resources to cope with everyday problems and serious adversity. 
  • A developmental psychologist who studies the psychological development of human beings that takes place throughout life.  
  • An educational psychologist who concentrates on how effective teaching and learning take place. 
  • An engineering psychologist who conducts research on how people work best with machines. For example, how can a computer be designed to prevent fatigue and eye strain in people? 
  • An environmental psychologist who studies the dynamics of person-environment interactions. This job requires you to examine behaviour evolving at various scales and from various processes. 
  • An evolutionary psychologist who studies how evolutionary principles such as mutation, adaptation, and selective fitness influence human thought, feeling, and behaviour. 
  • An experimental psychologist who studies a wide range of psychological phenomena, including cognitive processes, comparative psychology, and learning and conditioning. 

Other subfields that are also interesting to pursue in a psychology degree are forensic psychology, health psychology, industrial/organisational psychology, neuropsychologist, quantitative and measurement psychology, rehabilitation psychology, school and social psychology, and sport psychology. 

See also: 10+ List of Jobs for Graduates with English Degree 

Job outlook for psychology graduates 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, opportunities in psychology will continue to grow over the next decade. The field of study is also an extraordinarily diverse field with hundreds of career paths. Some specialities, like caring for people with mental and emotional disorders, are familiar to most of us. Others, like helping with the design of advanced computer systems or studying how we remember things, are less known. 

However, psychologists often work in more than one setting. For instance, college professors often consult for industry or see clients on a part-time basis. American Psychological Association cited that psychologists often found work in one or more of these areas: 

  • university/4-year college 
  • Medical school or other academic
  • School or other educational
  • Independent practice
  • Hospital or other health services 
  • Government or VA medical centre 
  • Business and nonprofit organisations

Other potential careers with a bachelor degree in psychology include the following. 

Note that the below list is just some of the list for your consideration. A psychology degree can cover a wider range in terms of the job field. 

Job analyst Disability policy worker Fundraiser

Human resource advisor 

Employment counsellor 

host/hostess

Healthcare facility Administrator  

Personnel recruiter 

Technical writer Systems analyst Writer 

Volunteer coordinator 

Training teacher 

Victim’s advocate 

Recreational therapist 

Psychiatric technician 

Public relations representative 

Coach Community organisation worker Computer programmer

Animal trainer

Benefits manager

Admissions evaluator 

Army mental health specialist

Labour relations 


Other careers that require a degree beyond a bachelor degree in psychology are as follows: 

Academic counsellor Applied statistician Art therapist 

Optometrist 

Occupational therapist 

Psychiatrist 

Neurologist 

Sport psychologist Speech pathologist Rehabilitation psychologist 

Psychiatric social worker 

Program evaluator 

Vocational rehab couns 

Neuropathologist 

Music therapist Multicultural counsellor Experimental psychologist 

Exercise therapist 

Educational psychologist 

Neurosurgeon

Veterinarian 


Read also:
How to Land Coding Job When You Have NO Experience

Job Search Tips in Time of Crisis 

Hiring is slowing down but job seekers should continue searching 

Experts suggested that amidst the pandemic, job seekers should try their best because the job market will get fiercer. Industries who source for talents will hold the best and only those who remain competitive and consistent with their job search will get hired. 

Job seekers need to keep their job search active, moving forward with their job searching strategy. Experts said that job seekers should expand and nurture their network, focus on professional development, and refine their home schedule. These tricks will help candidates find topics during the interview or simply help market themselves in front of a recruiter. Recruiters want to hear an excellent story despite the lockdown, not some “lazy” work from home routine. 

See also: 4 Websites to Help You Create a Professional Resume 

Enrol for short-term jobs to get you creative 

Whether you are passively or actively looking for a job, enrolling a short-term or freelance job will make yourself more marketable. And who knows you’ll find your true niche during your job search? To start with, you can list your current top marketable skills and search for more opportunities to reveal hidden potentials. You can also start looking for telecommuting job opportunities and get creative about how you can leverage your skills virtually. 

Enhance your resume and LinkedIn profile 

LinkedIn has more than 600 million users in 2020 and many recruiters use this social networking to source new talent. So, don’t miss the chance and build-up your profile to attract recruiters. LinkedIn is also the best platform to connect with like-minded business people, helping you widen your professional network. 

On the other hand, you should redesign your resume to apply for a job online. Be all in and write everything necessary to get the recruiter’s attention. Keep in mind that your resume should pass both the ATS and recruiter’s manual screening. Based on a survey, a great resume should serve three critical goals: present a compelling career narrative, create visual balance, and illustrate a candidate’s value. 

Be prepared with a virtual interview 

Hiring during the pandemic might slow down but most industries are still doing the process of screening and online interviewing. The only change is that the in-person meeting will be put aside for now. Owing to such circumstances, it is advisable to prepare equipment and place for your virtual interview early on. Make sure you have the following requirements to create an effective virtual interview with prospective recruiters. 

  • Research the company and their niche, the job role, updated information regarding the role you are applying for, and prepare some questions to be asked to the interviewer. 
  • Prepare the equipment, such as a speaker, headsets, and cameras. Run a test on them and make sure that these tools are ready and able to work well. 
  • Get the interview schedule and interviewer’s name from the recruiter, if possible. Do your research on the interviewer so you can better know whom you are talking to. This will also help ease your interview anxiety because you already know their niche and how to approach them. 
  • Choose a clean, quiet, and well-lit space for the interview to reinforce that you are taking it seriously. 
  • Train yourself to focus on the camera when speaking, so it feels that you talk to the interviewer and not your screen. 
  • Speak louder during the interview. Raising your voice during a virtual interview conveys credibility and confidence, but make sure your voice is not echoing. 
  • Send a thank-you note after the interview along with some documents that you want to show to the employer to show how credible you are for the position. You can also request feedback to the interviewer. 

Read also: Working Well at Home during COVID-19 Pandemic 

4 Websites to Help You Create a Professional Resume 

Writing a resume requires an effort because, in order to catch hiring managers’ attention, you will need more than just a basic-plain-look resume. You need to blend your creativity and professionalism to create a resume that grabs not only recruiters’ eyes but also that can pass the ATS systems. This sounds a lot of effort, isn’t it? Worry no more, we have compiled 4 resume builder websites to help you create both professional and interesting resumes. You might want to combine two of the choices below to create a top-notch presence from your resume.

See also: Key Skills Needed to Survive the 21st Century

LinkedIn 

LinkedIn is not only there to widen your professional network, but also help build up a professional presence. If you already filled up your details on your LinkedIn profile, you can save the information to PDF by clicking “more box” next to “add profile section” and voila, the resume is already generated. 

This LinkedIn resume generator, however, will write down everything that you wrote in your description, giving you 2 more pages of resume. Meanwhile, the most professional resume should be written in 2 pages or less.  So, if your resume is more than the maximum length, you can scale back the content of your profile until the PDF download only generates a two-page resume or less. 

Albeit the LinkedIn resume generator could give a professional description one-click away, the design and look of the resume is quite plain. Therefore, if you want to draft a fancier resume without decreasing the professionalism, try one of these interactive resume builders.  

KickResume 

KickResume can be synchronised with your LinkedIn profile, thus, you do not need to fill out the details again. Yet, if you don’t have LinkedIn, you can still use the builder by filling out some questions regarding your work experience, education, etc. After that, you can select a template. There are two options you can choose: Free and Pro (paid template). For the free version, you can still choose a bunch of template varieties. Otherwise, you can invest in the Pro version as it will give you more ease and freedom to be more creative with your resume. 

After finishing the initial steps, you can use extensive use of “Add Phrases”. Click on the “Fill in Your CV” – scroll down – and on the profile section click “Add Phrase”. This feature will help you add descriptions so your description can pass the ATS algorithm and will match what employers are looking for. 

After finishing all the sections, proofread and proofread to make sure you do not generate some mistakes. There is a preview button you can use to take a peek on your final resume before downloading it. 

Resume.com

Resume.com is a feasible resume builder that does not require you to create an account. You can start immediately from the home page by filling your name and click next. The resume will only produce a one-page resume regardless of how many job experience you have. 

To use this service, you can begin by selecting a template. After that, you can choose “Upload Resume” or “Create New One”. If you choose “Upload Resume”, you can upload your LinkedIn resume that you have downloaded and clean up the format and content. If you choose the second option, you can input the content from scratch within the same dashboard. 

In this website builder, please pay attention to the “Editor” on the side of the edit section. Each section offers phrase suggestions that might help you if you are building content from scratch. When you have finished editing, proofread again and simply download the resume. 

Wix

Wix is one of our top editor choices. It is an online portfolio and resume builder that provides many professional and creative templates to choose from, from free to paid ones. The free plan will include Wix domain, Wix ads, and 500 MB storage. Meanwhile, the paid ones will not contain ads on your profile, thus, makes your online portfolio smoother and more professionals. Other than that, Wix is a great resume website builder that provides some of the most precise customisation options through its drag-and-drop editor. 

To start with, you need to choose your favourite template then login/sign-up with your email. If you are a new user, Wix has a short video of how to start. You can either watch or pass the view (it is a one-minute vid, we recommend you to watch it). Then, you can customise your own portfolio look. Add pictures, write a short bio, and upload your downloadable resume, portfolio, or certifications that you have created beforehand. 

Read also: How to Get Your Resume Passed by the Robots & Into Recruiter Hands

Improving Organisational Leadership Skills: Advice from Expert 

Leadership is an important function of management which helps maximise efficiency and achieve organisational goals. It is also one of the most sought after skills in recruitment besides flexibility and problem-solving, with companies spending nearly $167 billion on leadership development programs. Recruiters emphasise the importance of leadership skills in their job applicants. As a job seeker, if you want to showcase your credibility and stand out from the other candidates, you should boost your organisation leadership skills by mapping your skillsets against key personality traits and cognitive abilities that all effective leaders share. The traits include the following: 

Strong influencing behaviour 

Leadership is the ability to influence the behaviour of others, said Richard Petronio, Founder, President & CEO at Surcon International Inc. Leaders need to know how to influence and persuade their peers, both in pitching a new idea and trying to change a departments’ way of thinking. This will need good communication and other behavioural-based skills. That said, you are advised to train your way of communicating with others. Petronio said that effective leaders communicate with empathy. They strive to identify and understand their colleagues’ motivations and use that knowledge to make a change and build trust. 

See also: Passion versus Skill: What Comes First in a Job Search? 

Emotional resilience 

In a world where quick changes are made, leaders need to bounce back from failures and disappointments and not labour on them, advised Petronio. That said, it is important for leaders to remain emotionally and mentally calm in order to tackle this fast-changing and competitive world. To have stronger emotional resilience, you should rebuild your self-efficiency, emphasise empathy, practice patience, create better self-capacity, and always perceive possibilities. 

Practicality 

While leaders need to have the emotional resilience to deal with problems, they must be able to separate fact from emotion when making a decision. Solutions based on practical evidence are valid information. To be a practical leader, you should focus on carrying out concrete actions that can help achieve organisational objectives with more or less immediate reinforcement. However, you need to also carefully assess where you are gathering evidence to avoid any inaccurate reporting or miscommunication that might lead to poor decision-making.  

Extroversion 

Petronio said that effective leaders need extroverted tendencies, meaning you cannot just stay holed up in your office or room, laser-focused solely on your work. You need to walk around, connect, and communicate with transparency, as well as collaborate with others. This, however, does not mean that introverted individuals cannot be a good leader. A study published at Semantic Scholar found that introverts and extroverts are equally effective as leaders in both academic and corporate environments. Yet, the characteristics of introverted leaders might depend on the context in which they lead, meaning introverted leaders should emphasise on learning and collaboration.

Self-control 

Effective leaders listen and focus not on what they should say, but on what it is being said. When spontaneous decisions are required, leaders need to fight their urge to react. Hence, managing your emotion is crucial here. 

Ability to solve problems 

In the 21st century, businesses compete with more companies and make faster, creative and meaningful decisions in order to not lose from business rivals. As a leader, you are responsible for winning this competition – because if you don’t make a change, your competitors will. Successful leaders are comfortable in assessing situations and thinking holistically about organisation, as well as the long-term impact of their decision-making. 

Competency-based traits 

Apart from solving problems and being a good listener, leaders are also expected to be an expert in their field, meaning leaders should have additional competency-based skills when managing teams. This skill varies depending on job title and position’s level in an organisation. As an example, if you are working in the business development sector, your competency-based skills should cover all that is needed to achieve good and successful results in your department. 

Read also: Key Skills Needed to Survive the 21st Century 

What Job Seekers Need to Know about ATS

Nearly every Fortune 500 company and a growing number of small and mid-sized businesses filter resumes through an applicant tracking system (ATS) which will be tricky for job seekers when submitting their resumes.  

What is ATS? 

Applicant tracking system is a software widely used by companies today to keep their hiring track right as it allows an employer to collect and sort thousands of resumes. 

Why do employers use ATS? 

Back in 2008, the Great Recession hit the United States, forcing companies to conduct massive layoffs. When the situation got better, people started looking for a new job that employers were flooded with job applications. The problem was, employers found that nearly 90 percent of those applying were unqualified for the job, making it difficult for employers to sort and get the best and most qualified ones. This is where the idea of ATS created. ATS was first created for employers who demanded features that could discourage and filter out unqualified candidates in no time.

See also: Maximize Your Job Search with Matrix Decision

Applicant tracking systems then gradually come into play to help recruiters do their job right. ATS would help keep all these resumes in one place, help recruiters and employers stay organised during the recruiting process. ATS also helps employers save time by automatically surfacing and highlighting top candidates. As of today, ATS becomes a necessity for both big and small firms because it could streamline, widen recruiter’s talent pools, and save time to sort massive candidates. 

Does ATS have its drawback? 

Nothing is perfect, so is ATS. Albeit an applicant tracking system could help ease the job during the recruiting process, it has one drawback. According to a Swoop Talent survey, ATS does help hire professionals to narrow their applicant pool, but top candidates often slip through the cracks. This happens because candidates do not know the right standard resume writing for ATS, thus, they applied through a system that has less-than-optionally parsing or data management. 

How does ATS work? 

Generally, different ATS providers would operate a different system. Yet, they have similarities to collect and store resumes in a database for hiring professionals to access. In addition, resumes that are in the system might be stored long in the system before it is sorted and read by real recruiters. Then, recruiters or hiring managers would search and sort through the resumes in a number of ways, depending on the system they are using. The following is the elucidation of each ATS system. 

Automatic rankings 

Some applicant tracking systems use automatic comparison from job description to resume applicant. Based on Jobscan review, one of the best ATS that uses this system is Taleo. Taleo will rank each applicant based on how well their resume scores are based on the job description. This would surely help the recruiter focus on candidates with the best job description match. 

Keyword rankings 

Keyword rankings are very common in almost all ATS systems. As an example, if a recruiter is hiring for a General Manager Assistant, the ATS will then search and sort for “ General Manager Assistant” out of hundreds of resumes in the database. Hence, this system will save candidates who have done the exact job before and anyone that does not would only be kept in the system. 

Viewing application

Last but not least, some recruiters or hiring managers would take a glance over their ATS database to get real results. This, however, is only done by a few small- and medium-sized businesses. Commonly, recruiters would take a glance over a candidate’s past highlights, job titles, and past companies. With this quick scan, recruiters could determine whether they want to learn your resume more or not. Thus, it is important to make sure your top skills and qualifications are easily identifiable, not only for the ATS but also for the recruiter’s eyes.  

Now as you are already armed and know what and how ATS works, it will be easier for you to write better resumes for ATS. If you need more guidance, read here for more tips on how to beat ATS system and get your resume into human hands

Read also: Job Fair & Online Job Search Tips for Students and Graduates 

Why & How to Get a Charity Job After Graduation

What is a charity job? 

Charity work is often confused with not-for-profit jobs due to their similarities in their job descriptions. However, these two are different from one another. In not-for-profit (NFP or non-profit), the organisations can be run by either volunteers or paid staff. The NFP also varies in size but is typically on the smaller end of organisation scale relative to other classifications such as non-government organisations. This non-profit organisation aims to not make a profit for personal gain, not hiring paid staff and/or volunteers and do not need to reach charitable status. 

Meanwhile, the charity job refers to a more specific not-for-profit organisation which has very strict guidelines as to how an organisation can qualify as a registered charity. Charity organisation’s aim is generally different from those of a job non-profit organisation. The purposes of charity work include benefiting the entire public or a sufficient section of public. Charity organisations can also hire both employees and volunteers. 

See also: 6 Phrases to AVOID When Applying for Job and Interview

Why work as a charity volunteer/employee? 

As you may know, working in a charity company does not come with a fat paycheck compared to working in private sectors. Yet, having experience of working in a charity organisation could give you two major advantages. First, it will give positive encouragement to your own wellbeing as you know that a charity job could give a huge impact to social communities. Second, a charity job is usually more flexible than having a job in a private sector or startup. The jobs also offer more flexibility in terms of working hours and job sharing opportunities which is great for you if you have an interest in other projects. 

Not only can working in a charity organisation improve your self-wellbeing, TotalJobs wrote that it also improves your resume headline, boost your network, as well as help figure out your true passions, goals and wants in life. Charity jobs are not beholden to political cycles and point-scoring, but instead has the luxury of being motivated by evidence and humanitarian values. 

Skills and requirements 

Albeit charity working seems like informal jobs, to gain or get accepted in a charity team, you still need to have certain values and skills. Mark Devlin, Chief Operating Officer for Unicef UK, told TotalJobs that working for a charity is about working for a bigger vision, own individuals goals and ambitions. That said, before getting accepted, applicants must first have ambition and at least know what they are involving themselves into. In general, employer of charity organisation would want to see the following skills in their candidates: 

  • Have great flexibility and innovation 
  • Able to multitasks 
  • Have excellent interpersonal, communication and negotiation skills 
  • Have organisation skills 
  • Can work in a team and individually
  • Have a lively and positive personality (cheerful) 
  • Ready to gain experiences and solve challenges 

Degree requirements 

There are some roles in charity jobs that you can apply, including charity fundraisers, volunteer coordinator, accounting, IT, HR, marketing, and charity officer. Some of these jobs (charity fundraiser, volunteer coordinator, and charity officer) do not need specific degrees. However, if you apply for a more specific job role, you might require a specific undergraduate qualification in the specified subject. 

If you want to improve your qualification, you can always enrol to the following subjects: 

  • Business studies
  • Community and development studies 
  • Social policy and administration studies 
  • Sociology studies 
  • Voluntary sector management courses 
  • Youth work courses 

How much will you earn? 

As mentioned earlier, working in a charity organisation would not give you much money, however, it does not mean that you will work for free. Even for an unpaid volunteer, you can get some perks too such as getting living costs or pocket money by registering in an overseas volunteer program. Larger charities in particular often offer more generous salaries to attract the best candidates. Based on TotalJobs review, the average salary can reach up to £27,500 with the range between £21,000 to £37,500 annually. There are also some charities that pay hourly. 

Read also: Why & Some Tips for Volunteering Abroad

Who Should be Your Professional Reference? 

Bad hires can cost a company a fortune. That’s why recruiters are being more careful when it comes to bringing in new talents to the team. In their approach to hire the most suitable candidates, recruiters will conduct background check and screening by asking a professional reference to potential candidates.

What is a professional reference? 

Professional reference, also referred to as a job reference, is someone who could provide an insight into your earlier working experiences. As fresh grads or students who are currently looking for a job, their professional reference can be lecturer, teacher, or professor. For those who have working experiences, professional reference can be former colleagues and/or supervisors who can attest to one’s skills and qualifications. 

See also: Are You a Boring Job Applicant? 

Why does an employer want a professional reference? 

When an employer sees you as a prospective hire, more often than not, they will ask for you to provide one or two job references in order to reaffirm all information you put on your resume or say during an interview regarding your skills, experiences, and suitability for the position you applied. 

Job reference also helps employers confirm that candidates are honest in their job applications and interview responses. Besides, references are also vital opportunities for employers to get a sense of candidates’ performance on the job and personal qualities. 

Who should you ask to be your job reference? 

For fresh job seekers a.k.a graduates with no working experience, finding the right job reference can be tricky. As graduates, however, it is likely that you are applying for an entry-level position, so recruiters will understand that you might not be able to provide professional references. Recruiter might as well not consider your lack of professional reference as a problem. 

Nevertheless, you might still need to provide job references in case your recruiter will ask you for that, advised Jessica Hernandez, the president and CEO of Great Resume Fast. In many cases, college grads will have their supervisors from internships or work-study jobs as a reference. Even if your past internship does not really align with your current job application, former supervisors could still provide insights into your character, dedication, and overall attitude. 

So what if you are a fresh grad who has no job experience, even an internship? In this case, Hernandez advised that you should turn to your professors, coaches, or any authority figure who has knowledge of how you work hard, grow, and deal with people. Parents or relatives are not great choices here, added Hernandez, because they might give biased answers to recruiters. 

Who is the most effective job reference? 

To provide the best professional reference, you should consider these points. These considerations will help you choose the most effective reference you can ever have. 

  • Do you have the list of who your job references are? 
  • If yes, choose the most recent person you work with/collaborate with. If you have graduated from university 2 years ago and ask for your professor reference, it is likely that your professor could not give updated information about you. 
  • If no, you might want to consider a colleague you are collaborating with, be it a volunteer colleague, project partner, or stranger you’ve been working with for some time. 
  • Consider their relevance to your job and/or their position/seniority. For example, if you are applying for a junior accountant and you have two reference choices who would be able to provide high praise. Refer to one who either has knowledge of an accountant or who is the most senior.
  • Lastly, ask your reference politely and tell them that you have included them in your resume/job search. To deliver your intention, it is always better via face-to-face communication. However, if you think your reference is a highly busy person, sending a chat or email first could be the best move. Always cite your intention earlier to avoid misunderstanding. 

Read also: 6 Phrases to AVOID When Applying for Job and Interview