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Old August 7th, 2019, 08:08 AM
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References-- what to do?

I received a message this morning from a company checking references for a job applicant. The caller said, "It's important that you return this call as soon as possible. This is the last step before the interview and cannot proceed without confirming the professional reference."

The problem is that the person who listed me as a reference did not tell me she was using me as a reference. I can't even call her because I don't have any idea where she is or how to reach her. I haven't spoken to her in almost 10 years.

Honestly, I couldn't say anything about her. She volunteered for me part time and was adequate at her position for an hour a week. Is that enough?

The position she applied for isn't rocket science, and I don't want to prevent her from getting the job because I didn't return the call. I also can't give her a referral.

So, error on the part of silence? Truth?
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Old August 7th, 2019, 06:45 PM
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Re: References-- what to do?

Truth (if I get a vote).

"She volunteered for me part-time ten years ago for about an hour per week and I had no issues with her."

Are we sure this isn't a phishing scam?
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Old August 7th, 2019, 07:19 PM
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Re: References-- what to do?

Truth? I did exactly what you said before I read your answer.

It isn't a phishing scam. The company is a local company and they check references before they interview.

I hope she gets the job, but I suspect I'll never know!
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Old August 10th, 2019, 10:12 AM
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Re: References-- what to do?

You did your best with what you knew.


I don't understand using someone for a reference when it was such a short time a long time ago.
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Old August 20th, 2019, 12:45 PM
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Re: References-- what to do?

I got asked to by a former student to provide him with a reference. I honestly told him that while I was flattered he'd ask me, I didn't feel I could do justice for him in providing a reference as I'd only taught him for a limited time as part of a huge class so I didn't really know him well enough. I omitted the part that really he wasn't a good student. Even though he was a former teacher he couldn't be bothered to even grasp the basics of the class and therefore didn't develop very well. I was amazed he actually passed the course exam!

A current work colleague asked me if I'd provide a reference. I again declined. I'd only started working there and with her a couple of months previously and when you broke it down into the actual shifts I'd worked with her it was barely anything.

A young friend has asked me to get her a job application for my workplace. She works in the same field. She asked me to vouch for her that she was a good worker. I would happily get her the form and vouch that she was a nice bubbly person but in now way could I vouch for her as a worker as I've never worked with her and don't know her that well to vouch for other areas such as integrity etc.

So I'd agree with KayKay, be brief and honest as you have already stated here.
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