Because You Are Polite

by Ginger Philbrick

Our daughter, Jennifer, recently had an experience regarding job references, and I think her following comments on it are worthy of sharing. It is a manners issue which, like “thank-you notes”, falls into the category of wisdom I hope will be passed along.

“Recently, two 20-somethings, both children of close friends, reached out to me via text to let me know that they have listed my name and contact information as a reference on job applications. In both cases, they did not include any information about the company or position that was involved. It was simply the notification that I might be contacted and they hoped I wouldn’t mind. I found it a bit unsettling and so have jotted down some pointers that I want to share with reference seekers:

• Ask in person or by phone for permission to list your hoped for reference, a text doesn’t allow for a satisfactory conversation.

• Let the person you are asking to recommend you know what job you are applying for and what the skills needed for the job are.

• It is helpful to tell your reference what you would like her to say to a potential employer.

• Check back to see if your reference has heard from the desired employer. Showing interest increases her understanding of your true interest in the job.

• As always, a note or a call of thanks is appreciated when the task is completed…even if you don’t get the job. You may want to list your reference again…for an even better job!

Ginger Philbrick is the owner of Because You Are Polite LLC. You are invited to email your manners questions to her and she will respond as time and space allow. You may contact her at youarepolite1@gmail.com.