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December 03, 2006



Hey, that is really good advice about keeping track of previous employers from the last seven years or 3 jobs, whichever is shorter. As a regular reader of Brandstorming, I know Jim Durbin knows his stuff and he's a great guy too.
Thanks for the post!

Adam Potts

I'm looking for a job at the moment. And I'm having great trouble with filling in the 'References' part of the form#s#. I lost contact with all my old employees and I left one because I felt i was treated unfairly, which was stupid of me because they then put that they fired me. So I have good skills, i'm a hard worker but I find it very hard to get work...


Ive been doing admin work at a doctors office for the past yr, i left because i was not getting along with the young lady who worked next to me, and now i cant get a refference from this employer. the job before that was only as a temp. and they do not give refferences.
What should i tell them when i go on interviews in the refference section? and when they ask me face to face?


Telling someone what they should have done in the past about references does not solve their current problems. In truth, they risk becoming 'unemployable' == unless they lie -- which is frowned upon; but they have to make a living; and bagging grocieries won't work if they are deemed, 'overqualified'.

I suggest that employers need to take a good look at their eveluation processes -- for it is the employee with the stellar reference and the impeccable credit who sprays the office with bullets when they are perturbed to the extreme degree.


Commenter on March 26, 2009 is absolutely right! That doesn't help now! There also seems to be no help for recent housewives who need a PAID job now and the way things are going these days, is probably going to starve to death except for Food Stamps. This is what should go on the tombstone: Bachelor's Degreed, Advanced Computer Skills, Typing 94 words per minute, and Died from Lack of Recent Work References.
What a way to go.


For the teen and others entering the workforce... I would start with a volunteer job in a field of interest, practicing the skills you would like to use in your target job. Work consistently for them to let them know your work ethic and skills first hand. This can be done evenings and weekends while you keep another job (anything) to pay the bills. If you do well, you can get references from the organization and colleagues. It is not an immediate fix but it will be effective in starting to build or re-build your network and skill set.


I'm a degree qualified professional (alas not post-grad as yet) and worked for a really reputable financial company for 10 years with over 5 managers and was repeatedly passed over for promotions - yes I'm a woman and obese and I am still not sure if this is the reason. I finally decided to leave the company...and do you think any of my ex-managers from the firm will give me a reference - and not just for a higher level - not one...and guess what...I'm a lovely work colleage and hard worker...I never want to work again for anyone or any employer except at the most basic wage unless I get a promotion and furthermore I don't want to have any close relationships with work colleagues from now on...and yes I'm now never going to back down from this position

Maria Batista

What other forms of references do you recommend for someone who is actively seeking employment and resigned their last employment of eight years under bad terms? The employer refuses to give a reference yet I have other references from vendors, co-workers and former supervisors from over eight years ago. Would potential employers accept these references along with copies of performance reviews? Thanks MM


Do you really think the top paid executives got to their position without a few political fibs?! There can't be that many people that are SO popular that their straight-as-an-arrow career has flown along without any bumps. Its tough out there and employers handle references like grammar checks, I personally don't think they mean too much but i have experienced the same problem. Three references is a lot to ask if you have to go way back in time. What do long term unemployed people do? I am well educated and had what i thought was excellent work experience but with competition levels so high i just never got anywhere..three years have passed and i have not STOPPED applying!! I have interviews but there is always someone who fits better. I say the experts can't help you at that point, you are forced to come up with something.


Lookatme on February 03, 2010 is absolutely right. We're all going to starve. It's getting even worse as Food Stamps expects you to WORK for your Food Stamps. And yet they are useless as to how to help you get around your barriers to employment when THIS is your barrier to employment. Lack of references.


The post is very much informative and interesting. The information would be more useful for the job seekers to get good advice and tips. By the way have you heard about which is the best online source for the job seeker in Cloud Computing and its technologies. I hope this would be more useful for the job seekers searching their Computing Jobs.


I have been trying to get volunteer work to get some new references as I currently have none and am out of work. But I have found that I also need references - to get volunteer work - to get references! I feel hopeless.


I'm in the same situation as many above -- lack of recent work references. It's almost always the stumbling block on job applications for someone who hasn't worked in some time. What's the answer? Lie? Phone a friend?

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