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Congratulations, you made it through the tough part — your resume and cover letter were flawless and on point, your interview preparation paid off, and now an offer seems all but inevitable, or is it?!

Recent survey findings revealed some startling statistics about reference checks. The most important finding: 21% of  job candidates were removed from consideration after the reference check. This result was based on interviews with over 1,000 senior managers at companies with 20+ employees. OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled administrative professionals developed the survey and an independent research firm conducted the telephone interviews.

Don’t become the one in five who loses a job offer! Be sure to line up your references, keep them abreast of your job search progress, let them know what needs to be emphasized if an employer contacts them and be sure to thank them for helping you get the job offer.  To read more about the OfficeTeam research findings please see this article from ResumeBear, “Reference Checks Removes One in Five Job Candidates From Consideration.”

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By the time a potential employer asks for your references the overwhelming feeling is usually excitement and relief. A sense that you have it in the bag perhaps?  However, neglecting to line up your references and give them a little information about who might be calling and what kind of information you would like them to emphasize will go a long way to ensure you get a job offer. I had an experience where I got a call out of the blue from an employer of a person I knew who moved out of the area and was being considered for a position. I was completely caught off guard and tried not to let it show that I had no idea the person she was calling about was even looking for a position.  For some good strategies about getting your references lined up, I suggest you read the following post by ResumeBear on Strategies for Obtaining Good References.