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Written by Abby Kohut   

These days companies will not hire you simply because you answered their interview questions effectively, handed them a well laid out resume, and wore a sharp suit. More and more these days, hiring managers and HR departments want proof that you can actually do what you say you can do. That is, they want to speak to your greatest fans.

People have always been telling you to never burn your bridges when you leave a company. As much as it kills you to thank your obnoxious (substitute stingy, arrogant, misguided or smelly as you see fit) boss for the time you spent with him, you should do it anyway. It will serve you well in the future when the HR representative from your new company calls to do a little bit of unofficial checking when he miraculously discovers he's LinkedIn to your old boss. If you leave on good terms, your former boss will be less apt to tell your new boss what he really thinks of you.

Fans aren't good enough. You need raving fans. You need fans that are going to sing your praises and tell your new company that they would be crazy not to hire you. You need to dig up the skeletons from the past and remind them of the wonderful you.

The best plan is to call your former managers, one by one, and ask whether they will provide positive feedback to a prospective employer. If they say yes, give them details about the job and then provide them with exact reasons why you would be perfect for it. Give them the ammunition they need to become a raving fan. Then tell them who will be calling and what their function is. If they say that they have a policy of not providing references, move on to someone else. Trying to convince them won’t work and honestly, it probably means they aren't one of your raving fans anyway. The truth is that if you have to ask a fan if they will rave for you, they probably aren't a raving fan. You know who the ravers are.

Absolutely Abby’s Advice:
If you have lost touch with your raving fans, use LinkedIn or Facebook to re-connect with them. And when you do, begin by apologizing for having lost touch. Nobody wants to be called every few years just for a favor so make it a point to stay in touch with your fans starting today. New social media technology tools make this very easy. Staying in touch will give your raving fans lots more to rave about the next time that you need them.
 
  • Tired of all the rejection? If you're interested in learning the Absolute truth about why you're struggling, sign up for a one hour "Capture a Recruiter" phone session today. Reach out to me today with any questions and for an absolutely amazing discount coupon!

Drawn from my 18 years of experience and research in recruiting and Human Resources, my blog posts are intended to provide insight into what corporate recruiters and Human Resource professionals look for when they are evaluating your qualifications. Simply reading these blogs will not guarantee you success. However, consistently applying the strategies mentioned, as well as developing your own personal interview style, will greatly enhance your chances of victory amidst the competition. I wish you the best of luck with your search as you begin to take charge of your career!