Recommended Focus:
Recruit Your References

Have "The Conversation" and Get Your References Working For You.

Based on your responses, it sounds like you might be getting stuck at the reference check stage. You're making it through application screening and the interview process, only to lose the job to another finalist.

This usually means your references aren't sealing the deal for you, either because you haven't had an in-depth conversation with them about your aspirations, or because they just don't like you.

It's definitely possible to land a job even if you have a bad reference, but it's much easier when you can work around them. There are three keys to working around bad references:

  1. Having plenty of other references for people to call,
  2. Having a serious conversation with your key references to get them on board, and if all else fails
  3. Making a lateral move to get away from an unsupportive boss who is sabotaging your chances

Recruiting your references is the 2nd stage in the Ascend Trail Map above. If you'd like help navigating this phase of the ed leadership job search—especially if you've made it to the final round several times with no offers—you may be interested in the Ascend Masterclass:

The Ascend Masterclass gives you start-to-finish training and support for every stage of the ed leadership job search.