Many people in the healthcare industry make the mistake of not paying too much attention to their references. This is because they think that their credentials alone will be more than enough to impress employers and land them the job. What they don’t know is that about 6 out of 10 employers end up turning down an applicant past the interview stage simply because of poor references.
Your references will act as third-party endorsers so it’s best to make sure you’re getting the right references in your medical CV. Here are our recommendations on which types of references to include, and which ones to leave out entirely.
Recommended – You might not always be able get a hold of them, but you can expect better results when you do.
- Previous Manager or Immediate Supervisor
The current employer will definitely want to know what people from your previous job can say about you. Most of the time, employers will look for feedback from your immediate supervisor or the manager of the previous department you were in.
IMPORTANT – The law dictates that you have the right to hear what people in your last job will say about you so feel free to listen in! Try to understand the feedback and make changes based on it!
- Former Workmates
Next to your direct superior, your new employer might be curious about how you handle yourself in front of former team members. Make sure you that you pick a team member who actually spent a lot of time in close quarters working with you for a more informed reference.
- Previous School Authority Figures – Teacher or Guidance Counselor
Graduates fresh out of college or university can cite former authority figures from their school as references. Seeing as how fresh graduates do not have prior work experience, it follows that they will not be able to use former employers or colleagues as references. You may then opt to have your future employer check with former professors, instructors, or other members of the staff. It may be a classroom advisor or an instructor of a major subject. In some cases, your employer will look for a guidance counselor as a reference.
- Former Clients
If you were self-employed prior to the new job you’re applying for, the best source of feedback for you would be your previous clients. These can be risky though; a dissatisfied client can keep talking about how you failed their expectations that one time or something that could make an employer change his decision even past the interview stage. Otherwise, expect to hear mostly positive comments and recommendations.
People to avoid
A lot of medical professionals make mistakes when hiring the following people. If you can, avoid putting them as reference at all costs
Adding family members as references in your CV is frowned upon and with good reason: relatives are less likely to give unbiased feedback.
Same as the above, except if your friends also happen to be a co-worker in your previous job. Regardless, employers are well aware that friends are more likely to give you biased feedback and end up padding your credentials.
- Someone from a Different Department
You barely work with that person, so what kind of endorsement can you get from someone who hardly –if ever– sees you? If you’re going to use a workmate as a sketch reference, make sure that person spends enough time in the same room as you.
That wraps up this post! Remember: your references are people who are supposed to attest to how capable you are at your job. By picking the right references, you’re making sure the employer gets a clearer picture of how you handle yourself.