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Friday, 22 December 2017 16:45

What can I do if my boss can't give me a reference?

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My boss at my last job of many years is contractually forbidden to give me a reference for my job search, other than confirming my dates of service. How should I handle that in my resume and in interviews?

I see providing your boss as a reference for your current job searching as a wasted opportunity. If the new employer is checking you out, they are likely to contact your former boss anyways. And yes, they are limited to what they can say about you.

You would be far better off in creating better references. These are people that you have worked with. They may be work colleagues, customers, clients and/or other supervisors.

The idea is that they are in position as your cheerleader. They know what and how you did at work and they are willing to promote you for the job in hand.

They need to be in communication with you. As your resume should be crafted for a specific job opportunity, your references should also be specific. You can develop a list of references and pick and choose from your list depending on their credibility in relation to the job you are applying for.

Your references have no place in your resume. And don’t say ‘references are available upon request.” Of course they are!

I can’t see how your current boss not giving you a reference would come up in an interview, other than perhaps in a question like “What would your former boss say about your ability to do your job?” This gives you an opportunity to promote yourself, using your boss’s words, which you have made up of course.


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