Author Topic: Reference Etiquette  (Read 1475 times)

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Diane AKA Traska

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Reference Etiquette
« on: January 14, 2014, 02:06:25 PM »
M is going to be job hunting soon (it's an amicable split... the place M is working is closing down, and they've known about it for months.) There are two leads and a supervisor that M is comfortable with and has a good working relationship with, and M would like to use them as references. The thing is, this is the first job where such a thing would even be likely to occur (last job was in retail.) How does one go about asking someone if they'd like to be a reference, in a face to face situation? They've got several more weeks working together, so M will be seeing them at work daily, so communication will not be a problem.
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baritone108

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Re: Reference Etiquette
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2014, 02:10:41 PM »
M should ask each of them privately if they would mind being listed a a reference on her job applications.  M should keep it sort of casual, "A, I am applying for a position with ____ and wondered if it would be o.k. if I listed you as a reference?"

The exception is the supervisor mentioned.  If it is M's supervisor M will be required to list that person on the application anyway.  If it is not M's supervisor then the above applies.

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Reference Etiquette
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2014, 02:23:09 PM »
May I assume that since M isn't looking yet, but will be some time after they're no longer working together, a rewording of "A, when I fill out applications for my next job, would it be OK if I listed you as a reference?" would be fine?
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Mary Lennox

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Re: Reference Etiquette
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2014, 02:26:15 PM »
If they say yes to being a reference, since their workplace is closing down, remember to get non-work contact details from them!

Arila

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Re: Reference Etiquette
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2014, 03:01:18 PM »
When the time seems right, perhaps right after a meeting discussing the close-down, or whatever, say "Reference, it has been so nice working with you this past <time>. Would you allow me to use you as a reference as I look for new work?" If they say yes, then "Could I have your personal contact info? I think that your phone number and email will do."

I find the companies prefer references from superiors rather than coworkers, and frequently three, so if there was another supervisor who you ever worked for/with, I would also ask them.

TootsNYC

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Re: Reference Etiquette
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2014, 03:11:35 PM »
I might say he could email them via his home/job hunt email, so they're not on the spot face-to-face. And he can email them using their work email (his job-hunt email to their work email).

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Reference Etiquette
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2014, 03:17:21 PM »
I might say he could email them via his home/job hunt email, so they're not on the spot face-to-face. And he can email them using their work email (his job-hunt email to their work email).

That's just it... this isn't office work, so there is no "work email".  In fact, other than supervisor phone contact (for calling out sick and such), I don't think M has a single contact number or email for anyone that works there.
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QueenfaninCA

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Re: Reference Etiquette
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2014, 03:18:31 PM »
I would actually ask them not just if I can list them as a reference but also if they will be able to give me a strong recommendation.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Reference Etiquette
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2014, 03:51:14 PM »
M should approach each of them separately and stat that she plans to begin job hunting soon and would like to list them as a reference if they would be open to that. If they say yes, ask how they'd prefer to be contacted. I'm assuming these supervisors will also be loosing their jobs so can't use their current business email or phone numbers. 

If they say no, then she just says she understands they'll also be busy with the transition.


cheyne

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Re: Reference Etiquette
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2014, 04:05:14 PM »
M should approach each of them separately and stat that she plans to begin job hunting soon and would like to list them as a reference if they would be open to that. If they say yes, ask how they'd prefer to be contacted. I'm assuming these supervisors will also be loosing their jobs so can't use their current business email or phone numbers. 

If they say no, then she just says she understands they'll also be busy with the transition.

I agree with this. 

As a side note, I've given many references for former employees.  Everyone who has asked me to do so has asked face to face.  I've even given good references to people who didn't ask me, but a prospective employer called me.   

Ceallach

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Re: Reference Etiquette
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2014, 05:35:21 PM »
Seeing as they all know the business is closing down, it actually makes it really, really easy.     Usually a big part of the etiquette dilemma is how to explain that you are looking for a new job and why, and ask them to be a referee when obviously they don't want you to leave (or if they DO want you to leave then they're probably not the right person to be vouching for you as a referee!)   but here it's easy.   

Pick a time where they're not too busy with work and it won't be a huge interruption, then just ask:

"Obviously I'm going to need to get a new job in Xmonth, would you be happy to be a referee for me for future employers? I'd really appreciate it."    They will most likely say "Yeah of course!" to which he should just check which is the best contact details to list etc.   He should also ask if they'd like to be kept updated when he's interviewing for roles so they know about prospective calls.    (Personally I don't list referees on my CV, I provide them after interview on request.  This gives me time to call my referees, tell them what role I'm interviewing for, and ensure they will be available to take the call.  But that's a personal preference.   I know companies who will call referees up front prior to interview and without telling a candidate, and I don't want to waste my referees time like that by having to take lots of calls from jobs I won't necessarily get or take).
"Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something"


Mikayla

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Re: Reference Etiquette
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2014, 02:11:58 PM »
May I assume that since M isn't looking yet, but will be some time after they're no longer working together, a rewording of "A, when I fill out applications for my next job, would it be OK if I listed you as a reference?" would be fine?

Yes, it's fine. 

The thing is, with one slightly bizarre exception, every time I have asked this question, or had it asked of me, the answer is pretty much known already.  If M has a good working relationship with these folks, they'll want to do it for her, and part of that is they may need M at some point for character or co-worker references. 

The supervisor is a little trickier, but that's only because his/her name will be in an application regardless of anything else.  But people usually know when there might be an issue with this, and it doesn't sounds applicable here.


betty

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Re: Reference Etiquette
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2014, 08:56:08 AM »
Just wanted to add that M should join LinkedIn (if not already on it) and connect with the soon-to-be former coworkers and supervisor. It's a good way to keep in touch with professional and work-related contacts. And a good way to find current contact information if M is looking for a different job in a year or two and wants to ask these same people to be references again.

aussie_chick

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Re: Reference Etiquette
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2014, 11:25:26 PM »
I think definitely ask face to face. Especially if you have a good relationship with the person you're asking. Something as basic as "hey supervisor, i'm applying for x position and I was hoping I could put you down as a referee. Would that be ok?"
Also i'd provide them with info about the job so they know what you're applying for.
Is your DH asking them to be a referee for one position or as many as it takes to get a job? If the latter, I would ask to keep in touch so supervisor knows when to expect contact and what the positions are your DH is applying for