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references

I have a written reference from my previous manager, explaining the work I did, and finishing off by saying he would recomend me for any professional software development enviornment.
When I apply for jobs, should I send the written reference in with my resume,or just send my resume in, and then if I get an interview bring it in?

I don't have a whole lot of experience beyond my previous job, and I have shown it to other people, who consider it a very good one.Does it hurt my chances of getting an interview?

hds
Monday, January 20, 2003

Traditionally, you put "References Available Upon Request" on your resume. And bring it to the interview and show it to them whether or not they ask for it and make sure you have a photocopy so you can leave it with them. A resume tailored to the job in question and a very specific cover letter are the two things you must have; if you want to staple recommendations to the back of yours mailing you can. It's not commonly done but don't let that stop you. Anything to distinguish yourself is good. But don't forget the custom stuff. And always send a thatk you note after an interview unless you hated the people so much it would be painful to even write one.

Ed
Monday, January 20, 2003

References are normally confidential between your prospective employer and your referee.

Open references, like the one you describe, carry much less weight than confidential ones because they're unlikely to be contentionous (otherwise you wouldn't have included it) and aren't specific to the employer's needs.

If you've only got a limited number of referees (as you say in your message) then I'd recommend not including the transcript and getting them to write confidential references as required.

Tom Payne
Monday, January 20, 2003

Tom wrote:

>> References are normally confidential between your prospective employer and your referee. Open references, like the one you describe, carry much less weight than confidential ones because they're unlikely to be contentionous (otherwise you wouldn't have included it) and aren't specific to the employer's needs.

Most references aren't contentious due to lawsuit threats.

>> If you've only got a limited number of referees (as you say in your message) then I'd recommend not including the transcript and getting them to write confidential references as required.

Respectfully, lots of luck on that one! Asking a referor to write custom letters of reference sounds like an imposition; it's completely unrealistic and would be a sure way to lose a reference. It took me *4* months to get one client to write one generic letter of reference. Most managers today are almost too busy to return phone calls.

Sic: business courtesy is so non existent these days that I highly recommend not abusing it wherever found.

Cynical Guy
Tuesday, January 21, 2003

"business courtesy is so non existent these days..."

Er, and _regular_ courtesy is common?

Even more cynical guy
Tuesday, January 21, 2003

>> Most references aren't contentious due to lawsuit threats.

At this point, a lot of references are non-existant...

When I was laid-off I had an exit meeting with my bosses and an HR person. I asked my bosses if they'd be references, but before they could answer the HR person said that it was coroprate policy not to give refererences. In fact, it's a 'termination offense' for managers to give references - all they can do is verify the dates of employment and the reason for my leaving.

All due to the threats of lawsuits, of course.

jeff
Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Yup.  One of my prior employers was a law firm, and they had a policy forbidding anyone to give references.  I was forced to use an internal memo for my collection instead.  ;>

Seriously, though, the threat of lawsuits doesn't *just* come from people giving bad references.  If someone at your old company gives you a *good* reference, on the basis of which you get a new job, and you have chronic tardiness issues, that could be the basis for a lawsuit against your old company.  It's phenomenally stupid, but there you go.

Sam Gray
Tuesday, January 21, 2003

I've also been told by my HR that I cannot say anything bad about about someone - even whether the person was fired! The safest fact: date of employment. They didn't seem to have a problem about positive references.

AEB
Thursday, January 23, 2003

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