Don’t burn your bridges: The importance of keeping in touch

Jul 6, 2017 | Blog

career, Don’t burn your bridges: The importance of keeping in touch

As recruitment consultants, it’s our job to overcome the challenges that come with finding and placing the right candidate in the perfect role for both themselves and the client. There’s an awful lot we are able to help with, or at the very least, provide guidance for. However, when it comes to references, our hands are somewhat tied. All too often, we find that candidates have lost touch with pivotal people in their career, or have left jobs on less than rosy terms and have lost reference options as a result. This week’s blog focuses on how to approach long lost contacts.

“I haven’t spoken to them in so long”

This shouldn’t stop you reaching out, it should just inform the way you do it. Bite the bullet and send that email or make that call – the reference you need is more important than that awkwardness you feel. Own up to having lost touch but be honest about why you’re getting in contact. You won’t be doing yourself any favours by making it seems like a genuine catch up and then asking for a reference after the “small talk”. You’ll find 9 out of 10 people will understand the situation and be more than accommodating. We’ve all needed to chase references at some point in our careers.

“What should they say about me?”

Obviously, that’s not totally in your control. What you can do to help them is provide them with as much context as you possibly can. Remind them of what you did, things you achieved, and what the new role is all about. That way, they will have a clearer idea of what they can say when called upon that is relevant to your new placement. Remember to thank them. They’re doing you a favour that they don’t have to so be very grateful!

Keep in touch this time!

Now that your referees have done you a solid, keep in touch. It’ll make things so much easier should you need to call on them again. If anything about the awkward reintroduction conversations will have taught you, it’s that not losing touch in the first place would have made your life a lot easier. Tell them about the new job and how it’s going and show them the positive outcome their reference had on your life.

Be aware of future referees

Don’t repeat the mistake in the future. The role you’ve just landed with the help of your referees might yield some great new referees that you need to call on in the future, so be sure to build and maintain great relationships during your placement and should the role finish, after, as well.

References can make or break your job application. It’s crucial not to overlook the importance of them.

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