How do I explain why my advisor isn't a reference?
September 20, 2012 6:44 PM Subscribe
My supervisor/thesis advisor has dropped off the face of the earth as I'm applying for jobs, so I can't count on him as a reference. How bad does this look, should I explain it in writing somewhere, and how?
posted by anonymous to work & money (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I'm applying for jobs outside of academia and my advisor is really incommunicado - he has no teaching duties this semester and nobody can seem to get in contact with him. He's flaky and super-busy writing most of the time anyway, and it sounds like his wife may be in a health crisis of some sort, so it's quite unlikely that he'll be easy to contact in any way.
As I apply for jobs, this leaves me without a good reference for what I've been doing in grad school the past two years. My other references are all from undergrad, and there's nobody else from my masters program who knows me well enough to speak well as a reference for me.
So - what do I do? Clearly I can't include my advisor as a reference, but does this look awful if I just have a mysterious dearth of references? Should I explain this somewhere? On the reference form? Cover letters seem both way too soon and wildly inappropriate to include this kind of explanation. Help me, MeFi!