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Old 07-11-2010, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Buffalo, trying to leave
1,228 posts, read 3,316,446 times
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I am kind of torn on this because I have 3 references, but because I am so young, they are all from my current employer. One is an equal co-worker, one works in my branch but as for the securities division of my company, and one is my assistant manager.

So I have a couple questions: Should I bring a copy of my references to my next interview? I've never brought them, and no one has asked before, so I'm thinking that most really don't care.

Second: Should I find a reference from another place? Perhaps that knows me personally?

Finally: Do you think that it's wise to put management on? I'm just thinking that even thought I get along great with my assistant manager, if I were ever to get into trouble at any level, she could turn into a terrible reference.

I am especially interested in hearing from people who hire for entry-level positions, or know alot about this!

Reps to everyone who answers!
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:06 PM
 
4,805 posts, read 20,223,704 times
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Quote:
Should I bring a copy of my references to my next interview?
#1: Yes bring them. Its rare that they ask during the interview, but you don't want to interrupt the employer's flow if they are eager to get started contacting your references. What if all the other applicants have their references with them and you don't? Guess who just got bumped to the end of the line--you. The absolute worst that can happen is that they don't ask and you waste a sheet of paper. One piece of paper, big deal.

#2: References from diverse sources is always a plus, but if you are early in your career, employers know that you may not have a wide enough network or experience to provide that.

#3: You sound like you think of your references as a fixed, unchangeable, immovable thing. It's not. List your assistant manager for now, and if your relationship with her changes, stop using her. You don't even have to provide the same references for every job you apply to during your search. Your assistant manager may be a good reference for one job, while someone you know in your personal life (fellow volunteer, former classmate, customer/client, etc) may be a better reference for another job. You can also remove and add people to your reference list based on their circumstances. I removed a reference while she was dealing with the death of a family member, because it just seemed like too much of a burden to put on her. When she had her focus back on business matters, I started using her again.
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:40 PM
 
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Have you done any volunteer work that you could use a reference?

I would also wait until you are in the hiring phase, you don't want your references constantly bothered unless it looks like you're going to get an offer.

Also does your current employer know you're looking for another job?

You have to be careful who you share that information with.
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:57 PM
 
Location: Buffalo, trying to leave
1,228 posts, read 3,316,446 times
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My current employer knows, I just finished college and applied for a couple positions inside the company I'm at now, and they asked if I was going to apply elsewhere (I said yes, when they asked where, I said that I could not discuss it), that conversation got back to my boss somehow and she knows. My assistant manager is great, and she is actually looking out of the company too, she was actually waiting for an interview somewhere else the same day I was.

So yes, my employer knows, but I don't discuss it with my actual manager, and dont list her as a company contact ever because I'm pretty sure that she hates me...

And volunteer work, Ive had plenty, unfortunately it's been political, and I don't want to appear like someone who'll argue politics. Also at my church which I left, and it was with a split, so anyone who would have vouched for me would probably not be nice.

I'm think of using a personal family friend who really likes me. He's the CIO of one of the most recognizable brands in the US, so I think that his recommendation could be valued. Only problem is that he's busy, and generally won't talk if it's not business for more than 2-3 minutes, he'll tell them to email...

Ah well, I guess I'll play it by ear.
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:24 PM
 
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It doesn't hurt to bring a sheet with references to give if the interviewer asks for it. I'd personally suggest 5 people: 2 management/supervisors either from your current job or previous ones and 3 peers that can put in a good word for you. The higher the level of management or supervisor, the better the reference can be on your behalf (ie. a VP versus a line manager)

Obviously, make sure you contact your references first to ask for permission to use them as contacts. The last thing you would want to happen is for the employer to randomly contact them and they have no idea why they're being called.
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:32 PM
 
Location: Buffalo, trying to leave
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Well I'm having trouble coming up with 3, so I don't think that 5 is ever going to happen
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:36 PM
 
274 posts, read 909,129 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthBound47 View Post
Well I'm having trouble coming up with 3, so I don't think that 5 is ever going to happen
Typically for entry level positions, references aren't really checked. If you have 3 references (including 1 supervisor) I think you should be fine.
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:43 PM
 
4,805 posts, read 20,223,704 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthBound47 View Post
Well I'm having trouble coming up with 3, so I don't think that 5 is ever going to happen
Oh, it'll happen someday. If you're just out of school, and for the first few years, three references is good.

As your career progresses, consider setting a goal for yourself to establish and maintain at least one business connection every year, that could serve as a character reference in the future. You may never use them, and some years you may not succeed, but it good to just have that idea in the back of your mind, to be on the lookout for someone who could serve as a reference if you ever need one. Those who could serve as good references are often also good mentors. You don't have to formally ask them to be a reference for you, just sort of 'mark' them as a potential source to tap, and foster the relationship so its there if you need it.

And remember,a few really good references are better than lots of tepid ones!

Last edited by kodaka; 07-11-2010 at 09:01 PM..
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:59 PM
 
4,805 posts, read 20,223,704 times
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And as for your volunteer experience, can you 'sanitize' your list of references to remove the political aspect. Something like this:

Jane Doe
Acme Widgets, Assistant Manager
Years Known: 1
(123) 456-7890

John Smith
Local Political Party Affiliate, Volunteer Coordinator
Years Known: 4
(987) 654-3210

Of course you have to choose your reference wisely, someone who will understand and respect your desire to not reveal your political affiliation, and you need to inform them of your intent to do so. But most people who work for political orgs understand the issue and are sympathetic to it. I wouldn't simply write it off as impossible to use political volunteering as a reference--or as work experience!
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Old 07-12-2010, 06:20 AM
 
Location: Buffalo, trying to leave
1,228 posts, read 3,316,446 times
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Thanks a lot Kodaka! You've really helped!
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