How to Request a Reference from Former Employer - The Career Doctor Blog

Sabrina writes:

Recently I have reviewed one of your articles online and would like to request, time permitting of course, that you may send me a sample letter of how to request/obtain a reference from a past and current supervisor.

The Career Doctor responds:

Let’s first talk about reference strategies, and then get to your question.

As more and more employers conduct background checks, references have increased in their importance in helping you obtain that job offer. Given their importance, job-seekers should invest a little time in selecting the best references. And remember that you should always ask someone if s/he is willing to be reference for you.

A reference can be anyone who has knowledge of your work, skills, abilities, and accomplishments. Typically, at least one of your references is a former direct supervisor, but you can also use co-workers, associates, and supervisors in other departments who know your work. You may also choose to list an educational (mentor) or personal (character) reference.

College students and recent grads have a little more flexibility, but ideally you should have several references from internships or volunteer work in addition to professors and personal references. Avoid listing family members; clergy or friends are okay for personal references. Former coaches, vendors, customers, and business acquaintances are also acceptable. Again, the key is choosing people who know your strengths and abilities — and who will say positive things about you.

The key to securing a reference is having a good relationship with the person, yet another reason why it is important to stay in touch with folks in your network. With your former supervisor, simply write a short email updating them on your career path and new job search and ask if s/he would be willing to be a reference for you. Include a current resume and highlight some recent accomplishments. For the current supervisor, I would ask only if I had a great rapport with him or her — and s/he knew I was leaving the company.

Posted via web from AndyWergedal