QUESTION: I would like to know if placing a reference who belongs to the same organization that I am applying will make a difference on my resume and will it better my chances of getting this job?

I got to know this "reference" person because the company that this person works for, used my current company's services.  I just happened to work directly with this "reference" person.  The immediate boss of this "reference" person, who is a top executive of the company, liked the service that I provided, that now when this company is in town, they use our company and request for my services.  In my opinion, I work very well with this "reference" person to help coordinate the services for this person's boss.

I was looking at this company's web site and found out that they had an opening for a position that I think I am qualified for.  Is it smart to mention the "reference" person on my resume and even write about the working relationship I have with this company on my cover letter?  Is it also better to mention the name of the top executive who I offered service through my company in the cover letter and resume?

Thank you.

ANSWER: Hi Azuma,

I cannot think of a better reference than one who works at the company to which you are applying.  Especially since, as you say, you have already established a great working relationship, have done quality work for them, and they continue to ask for your services.  Everyone applying for a job wishes they had a reference like this!

Absolutely mention this in your cover letter, refer to it briefly in your resume, and make the maximum mileage from this contact.  Mention the names of both your "reference" and the top executive.  

I imagine some people might consider this shameless "name dropping" but this situation happens so seldom that you would be foolish not to work this to your advantage.  Of course, I am assuming you are highly qualified for this position, your background makes you a great candidate, and all your documents are perfectly presented.  If so, the people you know there and who think highly of you can only benefit you.  It's the next best thing to actually working at that company part-time and then getting a chance when the full-time position opens.  Go for it!

Good luck,

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Thank you very much for your great advise.

I know the company that I will be applying to will check my credit score because the job involves handling budget plans.  Currently my credit score is not good and I am planning to file bankruptcy in early year of 2014.  Should I advise this to my "reference" person before mentioning him/her on my cover letter and resume?  Can a bad credit score prevent me getting this job even though I have the experience and a "reference" person who works at this company?

Thank you.

Hi Azuma,

Well, that certainly does cloud the issue for you.  I suppose my advice to you at this point is not to say anything.  My view is that it is really up to the company to which you apply to properly vet you.  If you apply there and they find your credit score is not good (though "not good" is certainly a relative concept), then they may ask about it or they may simply decline to offer you the position (if it's a really bad score, for example).

Yes, a poor credit score could prevent you from getting this job all on its own, since the job is financially related.  But I suppose that's up to the company as to how big an impact that would have.  Credit evaluations are becoming more and more common with employers who are looking to find out everything they can on potential employees.  From their point of view, it is an expensive proposition to hire a new employee and they sometimes can make even small items deal breakers.  If this company puts a lot of stock in credit history, then I am guessing no amount of experience or name-dropping will save your candidacy.  But you'll just have to see how they assess your application.

So, again, my advice is to say nothing and let the application run its course.  If you are hired and later have to declare BK, you can simply tell them that you did not consider your credit to be an issue because of your ability to do the job.  It's not a great defense, but it is what I would probably do if this job is as good a match for you as you say it is.  

By the way, thanks for the positive feedback scores they are always appreciated.

Best of luck,

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