Managing Your References
When a person decides to bring an employee into their home, be it as a Personal Assistant, Gardener, Private Chef, Nanny, Housekeeper or any other Private Staff role, it is a huge gesture of trust. When we choose to work in these professions we ask our employees to put their faith and security in our hands.
As a diligent professional you always strive for high standards, nurture strong working relationships with your employers and you are proud of your work history. You understand that, due to the element of trust involved in this field, references from your previous work places are more important than ever. You are applying for a role that will see you working closely with your employer’s family, possibly their children and depending on your role you will have some access to their property and personal information. So, how do we set ourselves apart from the competition when pursuing a career in someone’s private home? It’s time to get your resume and references in order in order to highlight and display your great skill set.
Compiling Your Prospective Referees
As references are key, it is important to carefully consider what referees you have in your arsenal. Which of your previous roles were most relevant to the position you are applying for? Consider these factors:
- Which roles are most compatible with the specific responsibilities you would be taking on?
- Which roles did you feel most exemplified your best qualities as an employee?
- What are the most recent roles for which you can obtain references?
Most employers will look for recent and related references. Bear in mind that if you do not offer references from a previous role that appears relevant your prospective employer may ask why. This is not necessarily detrimental, but be prepared to discuss every aspect of the package you are presenting.
Reaching Out For References
So you’ve narrowed down which referees would be of most value. Now it’s time to reach out to each one and establish that they are happy to act as a referee for you, ensure your contact information for them is up to date, and check that they will present you in the way you imagine. A polite email is a great place to start. Past employers are very likely to be happy to provide references for employees who have delivered excellent work, responded in a positive and open way to feedback and who have left their role in a professional and courteous manner. Whilst you are waiting for your referees to respond, shift your attention to your resume.
Prepare Your Resume
It’s time to go over your resume and tailor it to the type of role you are applying for. For example a diverse work history can be a great selling point, but your employer will have limited interest in skills that have no connection to the role you are applying for. You want to present running themes through your work and highlight how different roles demonstrated your value to the role at hand. Your resume needs to be clear and easy to follow, and the way your referees fit into your professional history needs to be accessible and clear. Once you have a confirmed list of your best referees you are ready to streamline these two elements into that one perfect package.
Coordinating Your References With Your Resume
Put your references in chronological order, clearly stating alongside each referee’s details the relevant dates and title, all in the same format that it appears on your resume. Be sure to highlight on your resume too that references are available for each role where it applies. Ensure that the reader can instantly see how each element fits together. Put yourself in the shoes of a prospective employer or Agency sorting through applicants, and it is easy to appreciate that the ease with which someone can navigate your resume and understand what you have to offer will make all the difference. This is your opportunity to make sure you will be selected for interview and not overlooked or set aside at the first hurdle.
Put the time and effort into keeping your resume and references up to date and you will immediately stand out from the crowd – thanks to your excellent presentation!