Job references with no detail of performance
Many public sector organisations, and and some others, will only offer bland references as your employer. You will need their reference. But when it arrives it may only be a confirmation that you worked for them in a particular grade or post over a certain period of time.
Most large private sector employers will understand this – for others you may have to explain. You will need something more. Try asking your line manager, someone in your management line or a senior colleague if they would be prepared to give you a personal reference. This will be in addition to the one sent officially by HR. Many managers are more ready than you expect to help. Also, consider approaching retired senior colleagues and others who have left organisation.
Consider other referees
You might consider asking for a personal reference from someone who holds a senior position outside your organisation. This is where people you have met during work in a voluntary capacity may be useful. Otherwise, consider people you have met through clubs and associations.
You shouldn’t feel embarrassed about asking for a reference. Most people feel flattered to be asked But you should always give people the opportunity to say no and make quite clear that you will understand if they feel they simply don’t know you well enough to help.
Make sure you check with them each time you plan to give their name. Then, give them a little information about the job for which you are applying. Let them know why you think you are well fitted to fill it. This will help them to give the kind of reference that is really going to help you.
If you need help with your job search, please get in touch.
Wendy Smith is a career, life and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can book a discussion with Wendy about your coaching needs and your personal development at this link
Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link