Recently I have reviewed one of your articles online and would like ask how to
request/obtain a reference from a past and current supervisor.
The Career Doctor responds:
Let’s first talk about reference strategies and then get to your question.
As more and more employers conduct background checks references
have increased in their importance in helping you obtain that job offer.
Given their importance job-seekers should invest a little time in selecting
the best references. And remember that you should always ask someone
if s/he is willing to be reference for you.
A reference can be anyone who has knowledge of your work skills abilities and accomplishments. Typically at least one of your references is a former
direct supervisor but you can also use co-workers associates and supervisors
in other departments who know your work. You may also choose to list an
educational (mentor) or personal (character) reference.
College students and recent grads have a little more flexibility but ideally
you should have several references from internships or volunteer work in addition
to professors and personal references. Avoid listing family members; clergy or friends are okay for personal references. Former coaches vendors customers
and business acquaintances are also acceptable. Again the key is choosing
people who know your strengths and abilities — and who will say positive things
The key to securing a reference is having a good relationship with the person
yet another reason why it is important to stay in touch with folks in your network.
With your former supervisor simply write a short email updating them on your
career path and new job search and ask if s/he would be willing to be a reference
for you. Include a current resume and highlight some recent accomplishments.
For the current supervisor I would ask only if I had a great rapport with him or
her — and s/he knew I was leaving the company.
For more advice read this article published on Quintessential Careers:
Keys to Choosing and Using the Best Job References in Your Job Search.