Reference Check Strategies for Nurse Practitioners
Your cover letter and resume were spell checked and polished, your attire was professional and you clicked with your potential employer. A second interview is sometimes the next step in the process, but what always follows is a reference check.
1. Don't wait until after the interview to begin thinking about potential references. Professional references are contacts that can speak with regard to your clinical and interpersonal skills and will do so in a positive manner. They should have a good overall view of who you are and what you bring to a practice. They are often a current NP or PA colleague, a previous supervisor, a clinic manager or perhaps an MD you worked with. New grads may want to include academic advisors or clinical instructors on their list. Employers generally request a minimum of 3 references. It's often a good idea to include an alternative reference or two in the event one of your references does not respond, is on vacation, or has moved.
2. Make sure you have contacted your references ahead of time so they know they can expect a call, fax, or form letter from the potential employer.
3. Phrase the question so that you can be assured of a positive reference. Ask a question such as, "Do you know my skill set well enough to write me a good recommendation letter or to give me a good reference? Remember the key words here are good.
4. Ask for a letter of recommendation when leaving any future position so you can build a portfolio of strong written recommendations.
5. Bring your list of references complete with all contact information to your interview or have them easily retrievable to simply e-mail at their request.
Once your references are complete you one step nearer to successful employment!
Lynn Schiff, NP, is the owner of Advanced Practice Solutions, a recruiting firm specializing in permanent and temporary nurse practitioner placements. www.advancedpracticesolutions.com