Whether you are an estimator for a mechanical contractor, a project manager for a plumbing contractor or a MEP coordinator at a general contractor at some point in your career you will need professional references. They are pretty much a required step in the interview process unless you are interviewing with a long time contractor colleague. Here are a few tips to set you above your competition.
- Be prepared: Have your reference list typed and ready to go prior to sending your first resume.
- Contact all of your references prior to including them on your list. Make sure they are willing to be your reference and confirm their contact information. You want to pick the people who are thrilled with speaking on your behalf not the ones who do not want to be bothered by the phone call.
- Direct supervisors are your best reference. Your second best reference will come from your current and former co-workers, subordinates, clients and lastly your vendors.
- Do not list personal references like your priest or your neighbor. They cannot speak with authority about how well you can estimate a job and if you are skilled at job costing.
- Always keep in contact with your references: Even if you are not looking for a job at the moment, it is always a good idea to stay in touch. That way if you ever do need them, you will have their current contact information and they will be more likely to agree to be your reference.
- Each reference should include:
- Your name and contact information at the top of the page, just like your resume
- The reference list should have between 4-8 people on it
- Make sure each reference includes their name, company, job title, email, work number and cell number.
- It is also nice to include your relationship to the person
Bill Smith, President Southern Mechanical Company
work: 704-222-1111 cell: 704-222-2365 email@example.com
Bill was the owner and directly supervised me as a project manager.