what if you didn’t get along with your last boss?
How to get a reference
How to get a reference, Jobyet.co.uk report that nearly 30% of the references they check offer ‘basic reference or even downright negative feedback. Such negative feedback can ensure that a candidate will remain unemployed for some time to come. This is where we can help to how to get a job reference.
What is a reference?
Reference are people employers who can talk about your work experience, work habits, character, and skills.
You will usually need a reference from your old employer when you are looking for a new job. For many job seekers, obtaining references for job applications is almost something of an afterthought. If your employer gives you a reference, they can make it as short as they like.
Many references only say what your job title was and when you worked there. Moreover, if you are not used to asking for them, they can raise some difficult questions. For example, they cannot say you were investigated for stealing if the investigation decided you had not done it.
So here’s our advice on how to acquire the best references for your job applications:
Whom can I use as a reference?
At some point during your job search, you will be asked to provide a list of references. This question comes up a lot on our Facebook and Twitter pages. So, who correctly should you use as a reference? A previous employer can provide the best insight into your work ethic.
Your best bet is to keep your references as professional as possible. You should let these people know that you are applying for jobs and listing them as references.
Your best professional references from:
• Volunteered …
• Colleague. …
• Teacher. …
• Advisor. …
Choosing the right people
When you select references, elect people who will speak well of your qualifications, accomplishments, and character—and who are articulate and can explain them clearly to a recruiter. Call each of these people (or see them in person if you can) to ask if they are willing to serve as a reference.
So keep the relationship healthy and show your appreciation—remember, you may need to ask your references for something again one day.
Getting a job without a reference
Many potential employers request that you provide them with one or more references.
If you think your employer will give you a bad reference or won’t give you one at all, you could ask someone else to provide you with a referral instead.
However, depending on your past work experience (or lack thereof), obtaining such references can be difficult.
Look for jobs that don’t need a reference from your most recent manager. Some posts accept recommendations from other people you have worked with – like a different manager or someone you have worked for before.
Provide previous work you have produced as a reference source. Instead of providing a person who can talk about your skills and abilities, give a copy of your actual work which will show your skills and abilities.
You can also try: letters from clients, letters of recognition, thank you testimonials from clients or fellow employees, and awards you have won. This can be especially helpful for you getting the job.
Getting a reference from your old employer
Your employer does not usually have to give you references unless:
• your contract says they will
• you have written proof they have agreed to provide you with a referral – like an email
Some regulators also mean employers have to give references. For example Law or Financial.
However, some companies are increasingly refusing to give references because they are worried about legal action. If so you could ask them just to give a short one – known as a ‘basic reference.’
Usually, you will need to provide 1-3 work references and a personal reference – so choose that person carefully! If the company is satisfied by the majority of your references, then they may not argue about one being refused.
Can I make sure my reference will be good?
You cannot 100% be sure that your reference will be good but if you have a positive relationship with your company or boss and are leaving on good terms then you can ask them to make sure. They do not have to tell you legally, but they can choose to if they want to, put your mind at rest.
Can my employer give me a bad reference?
If you think your old employer has given you a bad reference, This may help. Many people mistakenly believe that your former employers cannot give you a bad reference by law, but that is not entirely true. You could ask the new employer to show you a copy of it. You can check what your old employer has said and ask them to change it if it is not true.
References have to be accurate and truthful, so if you were disciplined at your last job, then they could include that on your references.
Asking your old employer to give a good reference
Think about if you can ask your former employer to provide a better reference in future. You might be able to speak to someone else if you do not want to contact your manager directly – for example an HR department or another manager.
Explain what the problem is and how you would like them to help. Be as specific as you can and focus on the facts rather than how you feel.
For example, if you have lost a job offer because your old employer gave a bad reference, you could:
• tell your former employer you were offered a job but it was withdrawn because of the references
• ask them to review the reference to make sure it was fair and accurate
• ask them to confirm they will give honest references in the future
Taking action against your previous employer
If you have lost out on a job because your employer gave you unfair references, you might be able to take them to court.
Going to court can take a long time, and you might not win your case. For many people, it is quicker to look for another job or ask someone else to give a reference instead.
Your nearest Citizens Advice can help you decide if it is worth taking your employer to court.
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