Freud's Insights on Checking References in a Job Search

September 13th, 2012 1 Min read Freud's Insights on Checking References in a Job Search Blog
Freud's Insights is a blog series from our resident Freud, Johnna, a search consultant in the surgery permanent placement division. What comes to mind when you read "reference checking?" Most people think of a prospective employer calling names they submitted for information about them and their previous work. However, it is critically important that job seekers periodically check their references themselves. Are your references current? Have you been in contact with them lately? Are they available now to speak with the people to whom you have given their names? Will they speak favorably about you? I always ask candidates these questions, especially if their references are listed on their CV. On more than one occasion, physicians have thanked me because either they listed a reference with whom they had a disagreement or had not kept in touch with since listing them on their CV. Find out your references' availability to speak with prospective employers. When references are on vacation, sabbatical, or unavailable for any reason, prospective employers will leave only a couple of messages before they move on to other things. Job seekers may never know that this negatively impacted their candidacy. It is also important to tell your references what position you are applying for and provide them with insights into what they could say to advocate on your behalf. References often welcome any advice job seekers provide them with so they are more effective. If you are a surgeon (practicing, fellow, or resident), who is board-certified or board-eligible in the USA, contact me now to help you with your job search. Please call me at 203-663-9406 or email me at If you're a physician in another specialty, I can also refer you to one of my colleagues who handles your specialty.