Keeping it confidential: when to let the word out

When should you use your supervisor as a reference?

Paula S. Katz | May 26, 2015

You’re an experienced doctor conducting a confidential job search. Should you use your supervisor as a reference?

Don’t feel pressured to do so, says Regina Levison, vice president, client development, Jordan Search Consultants, St. Louis. While that supervisor or chief of staff may be the best one to sing your praises, you don’t even have to list him or her or any of your other references on your CV.

Many employers give a candidate a contract contingent on satisfactory references. They know you don’t want those calls made until you’re sure you’re getting the offer you want, she says.

Here’s how it works: At some point in the interview process—say after your onsite visit when you’re excited about the new position and know you want the job—you provide a name and contact information. Or, if you’re comfortable doing so only after you have a contract in hand, you can wait, Ms. Levison says.

And because new physicians likely have fewer reasons for confidentiality, they should list their references on their CV, she notes.

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