Friday, October 9, 2009

Getting a good reference


When the movie theatre where my kid worked went bust, the owner gave her a written letter of reference. This way, if and when she looks for another job (don’t ask), she can show the letter. But will he give her an atta girl if someone calls? We don’t know.

It’s best, though, say the experts, to get a reference before you leave—because many employers will only say that you worked there and won’t stick their necks out to say anything personal.

These days, make sure the letter says you were laid off for economic reasons.

Even if you just quit on your own accord, you can ask for a letter.

The trick is to ask your supervisors—not the HR Dept, which may be locked into the “Suzy worked here from March 5 to August 7th” thing.

Sometimes a letter from a coworker can be a plus, too. Make sure it’s a nice, smart, well spoken, intelligent coworker.

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