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

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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