references

my interviewer contacted a reference I didn’t approve

A reader writes: I recently started a job search, and I reached out to various people on LinkedIn to see if they knew of any open positions. One of those people was an old coworker, and he had me get in touch with the CEO of the small company he currently works for. I emailed […]

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what to do when a potential reference turns you down

A reader writes: How do I respond to a rejection email from a potential reference? I am a graduate student and requested a reference from a professor I know well. I was shocked when she responded, “You can use me as a reference, but I would have to be honest… if they ask me about […]

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my boss will give me a bad reference

A reader writes: What do you do when your current manager has shown he or she will purposefully give unflattering references to leaving employees? He won’t directly speak negatively or lie, but will purposefully sound unenthusiastic. Our department has had significant turnover in the past year, and our department head is not happy about it. […]

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am I sabotaging my former intern’s job prospects?

A reader writes: About two and a half years ago, I was hired by a cultural organization as their only staff person. While the job was not without its challenges, it was a great learning experience and I excelled in my role, which has greatly boosted my professional reputation in my area (it’s a small […]

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my coworker wants me to give him a fake reference

A reader writes: I have a coworker who I hit it off with from day one, and we trust and help each other. Last week, this coworker took me out to lunch and told me he was planning to start interviewing, because he found that he is being severely underpaid. I am in a similar […]

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my mentor doesn’t want to be a reference for me

A reader writes: I am planning to apply for a couple of positions and recently contacted a former supervisor to ask if I could list her as a reference. She was my direct supervisor for a year and instrumental in getting me promoted to my current position. After my promotion, she served as my mentor […]

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can you ask a reference what they said about you?

A reader writes: I am currently in the middle of the hiring process for a job I very much want. There are an extremely limited number of positions available in this area and I am fortunate enough to have moved past the first round of interviews with the top company in this niche. I received an […]

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