Remeber the 'olden days', when you would see the, now redundant, phrase 'References available on request' across the bottom of a CV. As if the recruiter breathed a sigh of relief and thought 'I can check your references? Oh Thank You'!
A person IS going to be checked out before the hiring process is finalised, therefore, references will be obligatory....more about this later. Social media, specifically, LinkedIn is a hugely valuable tool when it comes to this aspect of 'references.'
To include some reference to the fact that you are 'pro-active' within your CV is a given, although backing up those claims within your CV is somewhat more challenging. The fact is, that claim of your pro-activity will be tested at some point, probably during the interview - in quite some detail. If you can prove a degree of pro-activity before you even begin to mentally comb your career history for examples, then so much better.
That is where LinkedIn recommendations come in. How very pro-active of you to provide the reader of your CV with several (if possible - two or three from each job you list on your CV) glowing recommendations of your work. The recruiter will still contact your points of reference, but how nice it would be if the feedback given is wonderfully harmonious with the information on LinkedIn!
What is the best way to go about doing this?
Just as direct selling via LinkedIn is a definite 'No-Fly Zone' - ploughing ahead with a quick 'Hi' to previous colleagues, (or preferably your previous boss,) followed by a demand to Big You Up will probably not be well received. The likelihood is that if someone knows what a good job you have done with some project or other, they were probably involved along with you, and you are probably fully aware of their strong points, so why not take the intiative and recommend that person first if warranted.
Of course, it doesn't have to be just people you have worked with directly; it could be suppliers, customers or people within external partnershipst the company was involved with - literally anyone you have been connected with in your professional life.
We are all busy! Getting someone to respond to yet another request for a slice of their precious time is a big ask, especially if you haven't been in touch for a few months and the project in question was three years ago. Make it easy for that person by opting for the Blue Peter approach and prepare a brief paragraph or so in advance, easier to tweak a few lines rather than coming up with a huge list of superlatives on your behalf.
Having recommendations on your profile is one thing, getting them within sight of a potential recruiter is another thing. I like to link a CV to a LinkedIn profile if possible, especially if the profile has had a lot of work put into it. A LinkedIn button works very nicely. If you have a website, then it is an even easier process.
These recommendations are highly prized and something to be really proud of - show them off!
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