Ask For A Reference Letter As Soon As Possible After Leaving Your Job

Ask For A Reference Letter As Soon As Possible After Leaving Your Job
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When leaving one job for another — and leaving on good terms — you might not be thinking about needing a reference letter. After all, you already landed the other job. This is, however, the best time to ask your manager for a reference letter.

Photo via tribbles 1971.

LiveCareer explains:

It’s a good idea to get a reference letter from your manager as soon after leaving a position as possible. Getting a reference letter right away makes it easier for your manager to recall specific contributions you made to the team. Even if you don’t end up needing a reference right away, having the reference letter provides you with something to fall back on in the event you are unable to contact your former manager at a later time. Plus, if you decide to go back to the manager a year or more later to ask them to provide a phone reference, you can remind them about the reference letter they wrote for you.

Lifehacker commenters have previously mentioned trouble tracking down former managers who could vouch for them — a real problem when you’re applying to new jobs. That’s why it’s best to try to keep in touch with former bosses and co-workers. Either way, though, a written letter of recommendation now could help you greatly down the road.

Making Sure You Have Good Employment References [LiveCareer via Lindsey Pollak]


  • Do many workplaces still accept written references? I was always told they’re pretty much useless now. Employers want to ask their own questions, and want to make sure your mate didn’t write it for you.

    • My experience has been the same. They want phone numbers so they can ring and talk to them. Rather than a template reference letter with your name written at the top.

  • Every business I’ve ever worked for had a blanket policy on reference letters – not allowed. This really is dated advice.

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