Chapter 11

References and Recommendations

In This Chapter

arrow Realizing that reputation is everything

arrow Mastering the art of gathering praise

arrow Writing job refs vs. personal refs

arrow Surviving loss caused by lousy refs

If you done it, it ain’t bragging.

This insightful judgment comes from one of America’s most celebrated literary figures, the 19th-century poet, essayist, and journalist Walt Whitman. In a society where modest self-appraisal has been the norm, Whitman’s view is materializing often these days in the intensely competitive 21st-century job market where you score only when you can differentiate yourself.

Yet merely bragging about how great you are isn’t the same as being able to prove it. If you rely only on your word without presenting tangible evidence to support your self-praise, other people may not believe you or take you seriously when you speak of a past workplace deed — even if you’ve done it. References and recommendations go a long way toward proving your claims.

Validating claims is why the management of job references has emerged as a hot strategy to promote promising ...

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