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Making Sure You Get a Good Reference

You've had 3 interviews with a potential employer and they've asked you for references from your prior job. The problem is that you didn't leave on the best of terms and now you're a bit worried about the kind of reference they'll give. Follow these simple rules and you will be able to handle this without any problem.

The first thing to do is determine what kind of reference they will actually give. Ask a friend or relative to make believe they are a potential employer and call to get a reference on you. If you are especially concerned about the kind of reference you are getting, record the call if you can. Alternatively, you can find a lot of firms on the Internet that perform this service at a reasonable cost.

Ask the following questions.

1. What date did she work for you?
2. What was her title?
3. What was her compensation?
4. What would you say she does best?
5. What would you say she does worst?
6. Why did she leave?
7. Would you hire her again?

Many companies, for fear of being sued, will not confirm anything other than your title and dates of employment. On the other hand, if your old employer said terrible things about you, you need to shut them down.

Compose a letter stating that you have been told that the company has given a bad reference on you. State that you feel this is unjustified. Then state strongly that you are actively interviewing and if anything the company says about you in the future should cause you to lose a job offer, then you will seek legal counsel and compensation. Companies hate being sued so this should stop them immediately. Alternatively and especially if you have a low-cost legal service, have your attorney write the letter. Either way, the company will quickly learn to follow the rules and just confirm your employment.

Finally, depending on the reason you left the last firm, position your departure appropriately with your potential new boss. You do not want to go into detail about why you are getting a bad reference since that inevitably leads you say something negative. There are always 2 sides to any story and even though you may feel justified in your position, your potential employer may have second thoughts. Just set the stage for any reference checker to receive basic information about you. For example, state "I have to say I didn't leave on the best terms as we are still disputing sales commissions (bonuses) due me".

In any career, there are always some bumps in the road. These techniques will make sure they don't hurt your future endeavors.

Don Goodman is President of About Jobs (http://www.gotthejob.com) a Resume Writing and Job Search Assistance firm. Contact him at 800-909-0109 or by e-mail at success@gotthejob.com.

In The News:

Protesters catapult petrol bombs at police in stand-off at Hong Kong university
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 16:55:00 +0000
Protesters in Hong Kong have fired arrows and used catapults to hurl petrol bombs at police who deployed tear gas and water cannon.

At least seven killed in gas explosion in Bangladesh
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 06:00:00 +0000
At least seven people have been killed after a gas pipeline exploded in the Bangladeshi port city of Chittagong.

Former defence chief set to become Sri Lanka's new president
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 08:23:00 +0000
Sri Lanka's former wartime defence chief is set to become the country's new president.

Russia 'to return three captured ships to Ukraine'
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 13:29:00 +0000
Russia will return three captured ships to Ukraine, it has been reported, a year after it captured the vessels off the coast of Crimea.

Emmanuel Macron says 'non' to Dry January in France
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 15:13:00 +0000
French President Emmanuel Macron is opposed to promoting a Dry January equivalent in France, according to the president of the champagne makers' union.



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