A Simple Guide on What to Say for a Reference Call

A Simple Guide on What to Say for a Reference Call

Resume building includes citing references for employers to call. However, finding a set of references for your resume doesn't conclude the process. A reference call needs an effective outline so your contacts can genuinely help you. Here's a simple guide on what to say for a reference call.

What is a Reference Call?

A reference call is when an employer contacts your old workplace. Calls of this nature happen early in the hiring cycle. Recruiters do these calls to get more details about your skills and production. As you can imagine, the people you choose as a reference matter.

Some view reference calls as a small part of looking for a job. However, it could be crucial in determining whether you get the position. One misstep and you may end up losing your opportunity. That's why it's vital for the people you tap to say the right things.

How to Call a Reference: 5 Steps

Now that you know what a reference call is and its importance, let's discuss some tips on calling a reference. We'll discuss your approach and what you need to say to ensure a quality reference.

  1. Start with an opening question

    There will be times that you'll reference call a person from your early working days. You can assume these people may not remember you. When making a reference call, begin with a greeting and ask, "Do you remember me?"

    If the answer is "Yes," proceed to the next steps. However, if the answer is "No," you can refresh their memory. You can give as much information as possible to remind them. Be patient. Not everyone will remember an old co-worker from the onset after so many years. Give them time to recall.

  2. Talk about back in the day

    Once they remember you, you can begin talking about the past. Start asking questions yourself. Ask if they recall specific vital details about the work you did. You may also inquire about the people you worked with. It'll help both of you remember more accurately. These details matter as you create pointers for your reference.

  3. Open query: mention you need help with your job application

    Now that you're all caught up, you can mention why you called. Inform them that you need their help with a job application. Be mindful of how they take this information. Some may not be as receptive due to different factors. If you feel they're not up to the task, best to find someone else.

  4. Mention you're making a reference call

    Explain that you need a reliable former colleague to vouch for you. Tell them you're collecting information to write a narrative about your past work experiences. If they're eager to help, inform them you're making a reference call. They must know the context of the call so they can effectively assist you.

  5. Inform them you can help

    If you reach this point, you can assume your reference call went well. Before concluding the conversation, offer your help. You can offer to assist in writing the reference letters or creating a script. It's the least you can do, considering they're willing to lend a hand.

Effective Communication

A reference call can be daunting, especially if you haven't talked to the person for a long time. However, knowing what to say for a reference call makes the endeavor more manageable. Refer to these tips on how to call a reference and enjoy a seamless process.

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Written by Career Specialist Mar 22, 2023
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