I don't know if she's a good secretary, but she wrote a great paper on Nietzsche...
April 3, 2012 12:16 PM Subscribe
Quick reference etiquette question: Is it weird to use a professor as a reference for a job unrelated to academic studies? What is the best way to ask them?
posted by vanitas to Work & Money (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I am job searching and short on references and wondering if it is OK to use a college professor as a reference, even though my studies (undergraduate history & philosophy) have very little in common with the jobs I am applying for (secretarial/admin assistant). I am very well liked by most of my professors and know several of them fairly well from taking multiple classes with them. I know they could say that I am intelligent, hard-working, driven etc. but a good understanding of existentialism or medieval warfare seems a little distant, to say the least, from showing how I would be good at answering phones and using MS Office.
I already have two references from previous jobs but I feel that I need a third reference since most applications seem to ask for three. Can I use a professor? Is it weird or insulting to ask them? If not a professor, who is a good person to use?
If I do use a professor, what is the most polite way to ask them? Via email or stopping by their office to ask in person? How do I phrase it in a polite manner?