Dear Experts, I’m a recent graduate looking for work. I did an internship my junior year with a small company where I worked directly for the owner. I didn’t do the internship my senior year because I wanted to explore other options. I know my boss was upset when I said I wasn’t returning, but he wished me luck and said he be a reference when I graduated. Well, now I’m out looking and have given his name as a reference two times. Both times the employer said that he didn’t return their phone calls.
I did e-mail him when I started looking to say I was going to use him as a reference and he e-mailed back that is was not a problem. So, what’s up? I tried calling him twice now about it and he’s not returning my calls. He’s one of only 2 references I have, so it’s important that I find a way for him to speak on my behalf, what can I do?
ANSWER: References are important AND difficult to control. What mode of communication is favored by your former employer: email, letter, fax, phone? Think about how most people communicated with him and recommend that approach to former employers.
Ask for a letter of reference. Even offer to write one for him to put on company letterhead and change as he sees fit. This way you have a letter of recommendation to provide to potential employers, saving them a step. AND your previous employer has one to send or refer to when contacted by potential employers!
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