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
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]

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]

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]

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

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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