Professional reference selection committe
April 9, 2014 5:56 PM Subscribe
I can't figure out who my professional references should be. I need neutral perspective on my options inside.
posted by annie o to Work & Money (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm applying to a job in another city, thousands of miles away from where I am now. I have an interview scheduled and need to fill out their official application prior to the interview. It is in the same field, but a much more corporate environment (currently in more of a 'boutique' type place). I need to provide three professional references, TWO of whom are managers.
My first reference will obviously be my old boss, who I worked with directly and knows me and likes me. So, manager number one is taken care of. It's the second manager I'm having trouble with. And also really who should be my third reference as well. Below are my reference options:
1 - Manager from a very entry level 6-month temporary job at a corporate office from about four years ago. He's given references for me before, so it would probably be OK but he doesn't know me or my work well, we didn't really work together directly. But definitely a manager, and a more similar type of workplace to potential employer.
2 - The site leader for a place I volunteered with extensively - hundreds of hours over about 18 months. He knows me well enough, he's been a reference before (for my current job). I'm afraid that he's not a "manager" - he's also very much not corporate, so I'm not sure how well he'll play with the potential employer. Also I stopped volunteering about three years ago now.
3 - My current manager. I know. I shouldn't even consider this. But hear me out and then tell me not to do it. She knows me well, definitely thinks I do good work. She is most able to speak to my abilities and provide a relevant reference. The prospective job is in a completely different location, so it's not like I'm jumping to the local competition. We are quite friendly. I think she would help me out with this. But... I'm not sure that I can expect her to not tell the company owner and other decision makers, and I'm not sure it's fair to put her in that position. I'm also not sure I want her to know about this just yet, since I'm still working with her on a daily basis. However, the other two possibilities just seem really lame, and it seems sort of ridiculous for someone who knows me from 4 years ago to be recommending me now.
4 - Not a manager. But possible option for reference #3 - grad school thesis advisor. Likes me, I won the thesis prize, would be a good recommendation. But it's from five years ago, and is academic.
Given these options, which would you pick? Number 1 just seems kind of pointless, but looks the best on paper. Number 2 has worked before, but that was two years ago, and also not really a manager. Number 3 is iffy re: my current employment and number 4 isn't a manger or professional and is from five years ago.
What do other people do for references? Am I missing something obvious?