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Old 08-12-2011, 03:33 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
1,077 posts, read 3,199,113 times
Reputation: 892

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Ok, some of yall might remember my thread "New Job offer, reference problems". Here is the link: http://www.city-data.com/forum/work-...-problems.html

They extended a job position to me Monday and I accepted. Tuesday, they called me and told me they couldn't use my references because two of them were former employees of where I am currently working. One of the employees being the one who actually hired me here. Wednesday, they call me and retract the job position I accepted because they said they received a good and a negative reference.

The only person I can think who would give me a negative reference is this side job I took once last year and quit after a month and a half because it was affecting my full-time job and I was burning a lot of fuel on the weekends. I put this job under past experiences and didn't even put the number because the job itself wasn't a big deal. Just a way to make some extra cash. I won't be putting it up there again.

I asked the HR dept who gave me the negative reference but they wouldn't release it. Even though I know it was that side job, can't I legally request this information? I didn't even fill out an application for that job, nor did this women ever meet me. The only thing I filled out was a W4 and thats it. A friend told her about me and she just sent me a W4 and I had the job.

So they extended the offer and hadn't even called the references yet. They called a side job of mine and the women gave me a negative reference because I left after a month and a half. Thats the only thing I can think of why she would give me a negative reference.

I sent the HR manager a lengthy email about the situation but he is ignoring me. Is there anything I can do?
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Old 08-12-2011, 03:50 PM
 
Location: 10110001010110100
6,400 posts, read 10,917,338 times
Reputation: 5597
You made a huge mistake of giving out a reference that would not be speaking highly of you for certain. Always put references, professional or personal, that will speak highly of you, in a realistic, relevant way of course.
Why would you even bother mention a place you worked for such a short time and -not the forget- left prematurely?

If ever in doubt, have a close friend call the professional references, pretending to be a prospective hiring manager, to check on them.
Due to all legal issue, at this day and age, no manager in a reputable company would likely to give a bad reference in fear of a legal hassle.

I am not sure if the company who checked your references even really checked your references or that they have to release that info to you.

Also, I don't believe they can refuse to accept any references from a job you are currently working at. It actually makes more sense for them to check that one first but they typically need your consent to contact any former manager you reported to. For the current job, they should only do so when you accept their job offer which you have done. So, I don't understand their rejection to use references from current firm. This new company seems a bit finicky if not shady.

Again, your biggest mistake was giving out a reference who, you didn't know for certain that would give a stellar reference for you! This is not something you make assumptions on or leave to chance.
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Old 08-12-2011, 04:08 PM
 
331 posts, read 872,076 times
Reputation: 331
Are you sure there was an official offer? Did you have a letter in hand stating your salary, responsibilities, start date, benefits, etc.? If not, you didn't have an offer, just hopeful thinking. A verbal offer is meaningless.

EDIT: I found your other thread, and you stated you "got a call" and accepted the offer. That is not an official offer. I am sorry HR was playing games with you.
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Old 08-12-2011, 05:53 PM
 
Location: Kirkwood, DE and beautiful SXM!
12,054 posts, read 20,642,403 times
Reputation: 31776
Never list a reference unless you have already cleared it with that person. Before you go on your next interview, contact your references and ask them to write a letter for you. Some of them, maybe most of them, will just tell you to write the letter and they would sign it. Make sure that you always you people who will give you a good reference. Additionally, if you get nice written comments while on a job, always keep a folder with that info. It can always be part of your portfolio. Never tell a potential employer that your references are co-workers.

Employers will not tell you who gave you a negative reference. It actually could be that they found someone else to hire and just told you that you received a negative reference. Sounds like you can do better than this company.
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Old 08-12-2011, 05:53 PM
 
15,364 posts, read 20,416,595 times
Reputation: 22053
As someone else posted, a former employer probably wont give you a bad reference for fear of litigation. However, any former employer may answer "No" to the question "Would you hire this person again?" That may well be the kind of negative reference that you received.

In my opinion, sending the HR manager a lengthy email was not wise. They're not required to tell you anything about why you didnt get the job and your continuing to inquire could be considered harassment.
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Old 08-12-2011, 06:33 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
1,077 posts, read 3,199,113 times
Reputation: 892
I wasn't using this job as a reference. I had references at the bottom of my resume for them to call that knew I was using them as a reference. I won't be listing that job again on my resume. How they even got her number, I'm not sure. She doesn't have a website and was contracted by a larger company which I didn't list.

The email I sent was not offensive. I was just asking why their HR dept was ass-backwards in a polite manner and why they couldn't use the references that actually knew me and have worked with me.

Oh well, I haven't lost anything.
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:43 PM
 
17,206 posts, read 21,323,761 times
Reputation: 34652
Quote:
Originally Posted by gman6974 View Post
I wasn't using this job as a reference. I had references at the bottom of my resume for them to call that knew I was using them as a reference. I won't be listing that job again on my resume. How they even got her number, I'm not sure. She doesn't have a website and was contracted by a larger company which I didn't list.

The email I sent was not offensive. I was just asking why their HR dept was ass-backwards in a polite manner and why they couldn't use the references that actually knew me and have worked with me.

Oh well, I haven't lost anything.
I would take your references off your resume. Give them out only after they're requested.

Then get in contact with those references and give them a heads up via a phone call or email that Mary Jones from ABC Company will be contacting you.
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:57 PM
 
Location: USA
4,980 posts, read 8,570,546 times
Reputation: 2506
Have a friend call that company and ask to talk to the manager and ask about you. See what they say. Loose lips at some company don't know if you have an uncle who is an attorney...
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:21 PM
 
1,392 posts, read 1,862,521 times
Reputation: 982
Quote:
Originally Posted by gman6974 View Post
I wasn't using this job as a reference. I had references at the bottom of my resume for them to call that knew I was using them as a reference. I won't be listing that job again on my resume. How they even got her number, I'm not sure. She doesn't have a website and was contracted by a larger company which I didn't list.

The email I sent was not offensive. I was just asking why their HR dept was ass-backwards in a polite manner and why they couldn't use the references that actually knew me and have worked with me.

Oh well, I haven't lost anything.
Some HR bloggers mention that they go on LinkedIn and then contact people the job seekers are connected to. I do have to ask is this company a large company or a small company? Large companies tend to outsource their reference checks and the background check companies tend to be strict about the rules (such as only verifying employment in the employment section and only contacting the references that are listed in the reference section). Smaller companies usually don't outsource so they tend to be more flexible when it comes to references.

Here is one link from a hiring manager blogger who mentions that she goes after references that aren't listed. This blogger works for a small nonprofit firm.
employer wants permission to call people outside my reference list
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:50 PM
 
4,805 posts, read 20,652,504 times
Reputation: 4990
Well, you've learned some lessons here.

1. Employers can call anyone they want. They aren't required to stick to the list you provide.

2. You shouldn't waste space on your resume with references. That should be provided separately, upon request. And you definitely shouldn't waste space on a job or reference from a job that you only had for a month and a half!

3. A verbal offer is not an offer.

4. An employer is not required to disclose what a reference said. They are only required to disclose negative information found in a credit or background check, and only if that information is used against you in the hiring decision.

Good stuff to take with you to the next job opportunity!
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