Jobless Blogger 7

The Problem with References

Jobless Blogger 7

Now that you are out of a job, you have to update your Resume, LinkedIn profile and more. There is one piece of information that you also have to update that might be problematic: References.

Why are References a problem?

Let me give you some reference horror stories. The first one is what I have heard from a recruiter and the second one was something that I have experienced from a third person point of view.

The First

I don't know exactly from whom I heard this from, but I did. There was an employer who had a problem employee. I don't remember what this guy did. He probably stole something from this employer, or his behavior was unprofessional.

This employer fired this problematic employer and said that they would put in a good word if this guy uses them as a reference.

This guy got another job and did the exact same thing to his new employer, and that is thanks to the good word that the last employer said when the new one called them for a reference.

The Second Case

At my last job, one of my coworkers was so overwhelmed with her work that she asked my boss if we can hire some help.

Well, he talked to one of his friends from a neighboring business and she recommended a woman who only stayed with us for two week and never showed up again.

I later heard from that same coworker that this person that our boss hired, turned out be a incompetent employee at her last job.

It doesn't always turn out that way

Of course, not all references are bad references. That coworker of mine is now one of my references.

For you, you have to find the person in your last job that you got along with. They make better references.

There is Another Catch

Say you worked at a job for 10 years, and you hated it. Let's make it simpler, how about working at a job you hate for 5 years. Then you were let go, but you don't want to use anybody from your last job as a reference, then what? I don't know if anybody from the jobs previous remembers you past 5 or 10 years ago. Now references are really a problem.

Believe it Or Not

Because of the nightmares that I mentioned at the beginning, there are increase number of employers that are stepping away from asking for references. There are still some that are asking you to give them references, but there are some that are getting away from that practice. It's not that reliable.

Besides, you might get along with one employer, but another. It's a part of human nature that we can't impress everyone.

How Do You Find The Right References?

Google their name, if you don't know their name, go onto to your profile on LinkedIn and find out who works there...

Better Yet...

If you have forgotten who worked with you in the past, there are websites, like, where you can enter your last job's web address and it will give you a list of email addresses. Hunter also has campaigns, so you can write to your last employer and ask them directly.

What If I Got Laid Off with The People That I Worked With?

I had that happen too. Not with my last job, but with a previous one. At that time I was working for Temp Agency and the job that they got me to work for a couple of months laid a lot of people off.

For me, I just used my Temp Agency as a reference.

However, this is another reason why references are going out of favor with business owners.

This is a tricky one, even for those who have been with the same company for 10 to 20 years.

The best thing to do is to get a letter for recommendation from your last employer.

But if you don't have a letter of recommendation, ask your boss that you got laid off with their personal email and phone number.

In Conclusion...

When I was writing this, I was thinking about Freelancing. Yes, I am looking for a job in freelancing, which is like looking for a full-time job. More on that later.

But on sites like Fiverr and Upwork, after you have successfully completed a job, the person who hired you will give their own opinion.

If you did a good job, it'll be a good review. Otherwise, an electronic form of referencing.

What do you think?

Read next: Why Denny's Is the Perfect Starter Job for a Cook
Midnight Starr

I am a Canadian who has recently lost their job.

See all posts by Midnight Starr