MyFox Job Shop - The reference portfolio is a powerful tool that deviates from traditional ways of thinking. But the truth is, the reference portfolio may be the most powerful tool you'll have in your job transition arsenal. But before we go any further, stop and grab a few books from your library shelves. Look on the back covers of the books. Chances are you'll see a number of testimonials, most of which are only two or three sentences in length. But each testimonial sings the praise of the book and entices potential readers to want to read the book. A reference portfolio is exactly the same. A reference portfolio is a 1-page document with four to six testimonials that will sing your praise and entice hiring professionals to want to meet and hire you!
In troubled economies and during times of high unemployment, many job candidates will embellish, exaggerate and outright lie on their résumés. Hiring managers, human resource professional and executive recruiters are well aware of this. In fact, they expect it! In favorable economies with low unemployment, most hiring authorities read résumés with a healthy skepticism anyway. But in tough economic times, where many people are in survival mode, hiring authorities read résumés with a great deal of skepticism. A reference portfolio is an effective tool to eliminate the negative manner in which most hiring professionals will read your résumé!
The portfolio is made up of professional references that will confirm and validate that the achievements and contributions you noted on your résumé are truthful and accurate. If you are a student, college graduate, returning to the workforce or have limited professional references, you'll want to identify those references, professional or personal, who will attest to the fact that you are a valuable and viable candidate able to produce results and contribute to organizational goals. Once you have identified and confirmed that four to six people agree to endorse you, I advise you to write the reference statements yourself! Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Lindsey Wagner and other celebrities do not write the advertisements for the products and services they endorse. And your references / endorsers should not write the advertisements for you, either! I suggest you write the testimonial and then send it to your references / endorsers so they can review them and make whatever edits they may want to make. Once the reference or endorsement is complete, they should keep a copy in their files so when a prospective employer calls them to validate their reference about you, they can easily refer to it.
Once you have your reference portfolio , I suggest you send / email it along with your cover letter and résumé. If you are emailing it, the reference portfolio should be the last page of the résumé. Again, you want to attach only one file to an email. One of the many advantages to having a reference portfolio is that you don't need to have numerous reference letters on company letterhead as most companies are unwilling to provide them anyway. If you have a boss that will provide a reference but can't do it on company letterhead or on company time, he may be willing to do so via his personal email address from his home.
Jay Block is an industry pioneer and one of the nation's leading career and empowerment authorities. He is the author of 15 career and motivational books. Visit Jay at: www.jayblock.com .
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