How do I email my job references
January 30, 2015 11:40 AM   Subscribe

My academic and professional references have asked me to keep them informed of what jobs I'm applying to, both so that they have a heads-up, and so that they can let me know if they've been called. I haven't been very good at doing this consistently because I don't know how to phrase that email.

I have sent a few emails like this:

"Hi [Name],

These are the positions that I am applying to that I submitted your name as a reference for:

[Name of the position]: [link]
[Name of the position]: [link]

I have attached my new resume as well. Hope you are doing well!

Take care,

Except, I've been job searching for a while and I'm beginning to feel like a pest, especially considering that none my references have even been contacted yet for any of the positions I've applied for, as far as I know. And, since I haven't informed them of every job I apply to, I worry that it might be starting to seem as though I'm not trying very hard at all. I'm a little embarrassed, to be honest.

So, the email: should I say more? How often should I email? Once a month with the jobs I've applied to with references that month? Once a week? Every time I submit and application with references? Also, should I keep emailing each person personally or should I send one email and bcc each person I used as a reference. Basically, how can I do this better?
posted by wrabbit to Work & Money (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: If you can be reasonably sure they won't call your references until after they've interviewed you or scheduled an interview, just wait until then to send the emails. (In my field, I can totally do this, and interviewing does not move fast. So it's better for everybody if I wait till a call is imminent, so that my references have each thing I'm applying for fresh in their minds.)
posted by clavicle at 11:45 AM on January 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Seconding what clavicle said. I wouldn't inform them unless I had an interview.
posted by metasarah at 11:50 AM on January 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Thirding this advice. Rare that they'd bother with references prior to an interview.
posted by Wretch729 at 12:07 PM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Fourthing. The only place that ever called my refs up front was an recruiting agency.
posted by radioamy at 1:54 PM on January 30, 2015

Response by poster: Oh good. What a relief. (If it changes anything, my field is libraries and archives.)
posted by wrabbit at 2:17 PM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm a librarian too! Good luck, I know the market is tough.
posted by clavicle at 3:27 PM on January 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yeah, nthing that you only have to tell them if they should be expecting a call or not.

I remember one time when I got a random call at 7 a.m. from someone wanting to ask about my roommate for a job reference. Would have appreciated a heads-up about that so I wasn't so shocked--plus well, grumpy-ass at 7 a.m. thinking my mom was calling while I was trying to get out the door again.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:36 PM on January 30, 2015

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