March 29, 2018

Getting References

Posted in Job Search tagged , , , , at 11:55 am by Yvonne LaRose

What Did You Just Say?

What Did You Just Say?

It was a conversation intended for a wide audience that included recruiters, HR personnel, hiring managers, job seekers, and applicants for an opportunity. When it was completed, there was an epiphany. Those who are seeking specific career advice would appreciate having notice about how to ask for a reference.

There are many times when a reference is needed. The need is not isolated to job search. There are applications for being a presenter or speaker. Some see the benefit in acting as a moderator for an event or panel discussion.

Then there are times when a quote is needed from a contractor. Invariably, the customer will want references and the ability to see the end result delivered to past customers.

Then there are the times when an informal request for a recommendation is made. It’s a statement in a discussion group or someone stops you in your tracks because you’re recognized as a person who has the pulse on where to find experts at something. They’re verbal requests, not formal applications. And then there are online references and recommendations, also known as reviews.

References come in many shapes and sizes. It’s good to have them. Not everyone thinks about giving one unless they’re requested. There’s an art and style to asking for a reference. And if the dreaded “No” is the response, it takes a lot of maturity to not take the matter as a personal affront. Asking for a reference and getting a “Yes” can cause exhilaration. An endorsement, one thinks. And when the time for delivering payload arrives, either the reference doesn’t happen or else it isn’t the type of reference that was expected.

Again, on learning about the negative result and the implied awareness that the evaluator didn’t know how or wasn’t able to say, “Sorry, I can’t do that,” is not a time for holding a grudge. It means there was something happening in that person’s life (or their interactions with you) the prevented them from the promised gift. Move on with the awareness of what to expect in the future.

Yes, asking for a reference takes art and style. And if the answer is some form of “No,” there’s going to be a little pinch.


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