Best practices for approaching busy ex-employers for reference? And how to explain longer stay at university?
May 4, 2012 7:48 AM Subscribe
I'm a new grad entering the workforce. What's the best way for me to approach busy busy BUSY ex-bosses (so busy they have phone gatekeepers, cuz they're always on the phone with Very Important People) to use them as a reference? I left them on good terms, but it's been at least two years and no contact in between. Several related questions ahead.
posted by anonymous to work & money (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
1. Phone or email? How much chit-chat/specifics about potential new position?
2. How often should I ask them? Every time there's a new interview asking for a reference list, or at the beginning of a general job search, or other?
3. Do I by default ask them if I could include them as a reference list, or should I pre-write a letter of recommendation for them to edit/sign/format into PDF and email back to me? What do people hiring prefer? Advantages of a letter of recommendation is that they don't need to call the person, but the letter of recommendation may be too general because I don't want it to be super tailored (which requires me to contact the ex-employer too often for approval, which may irritate them)
4. Should I include them in a list of references if a job posting asks for one before the interview process? Or do I owe it to my past employers to keep their information private?
How do I explain a longer stay at a university? I worked full-time for a year, which should explain that, but there's another year I have to explain. Plain truth is, I was supposed to graduate a year earlier, but didn't. I still learned valuable skills from volunteering/networking/other enriching activities, but did no full-time schooling or work in the past year. There was some travel, but not that much. It was a relaxed and fulfilling year, I don't regret it, but it did me well for personal reasons rather than professional ones. Advice?