Project Management

The Good, the Bad and the Idiotic

Miriam Ziemelis

I am certain that we know from our days in school that references are sources we are going to provide to potential employers+ sources of insight as to our specific skill set, job performance and overall work ethic. Can we all agree on that? Then can you please tell me why I still receive references from professionals who have listed "friend" in the Relationship box on the application? I don’t get it! If I want to know what your favorite color is or why you can’t say the word "tequila" without your left eye twitching, then I will be more than happy to call your friend to find out. However, if I would like an overview of your last technical training class and whether or not your audience fell asleep during your presentation, then I want to speak to a PROFESSIONAL reference!

Okay, now that I have said that I feel better. I would imagine that a lot of you are smirking right now, thinking to yourselves, what kind of "professional" would do that? Don’t laugh. It is the truth and it happens more often that you could imagine. But enough about that hypothetical person, let’s talk about you. Do you have a list of professional references? Have you spoken to them in the last couple months? Do you clearly understand how they related to you in your last position? What aspects of your work can they reference and then, foremost, how will they make…

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- Woody Allen