Okay, we have been doing it wrong our whole lives: Did you know you were supposed to prep your job search references? In excruciating detail?

Sure, we’ve e-mailed former bosses saying “Hey, you might get a call from so-and-so because I applied for a job at yadda yadda.” But apparently that’s wrong.

“No prep. No conversation. No idea who will be calling or what position they are interviewing for. No Nothing! No Way! WAY….That’s job search suicide in my opinion,” writes Tim Tolan at Fistful of Talent.

What you SHOULD do:
* Tell them why you are calling and ask for help
* Explain the role you are interviewing for and some information about the company/culture
* Ask for permission to use them as a reference and discuss why you want this job
* Say who will be calling and when (general time-frame)
* Thank them for their help and promise to follow-up later
* Follow-up and provide an update on the status
* Send them a personal e-mail or a hand written Thank You card for their help

References. Prep ‘em WELL, thank ‘em. And nail your job offer.