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How to ask your current boss for a reference?

What should I say in the email? or should I talk to my current supervisor directly?

I want to apply for a full-time job and I want to be prepared (in case they want me to provide 2 ~ 3 most recent references).
And my current position is a part-time position and I do have good relationship with my boss.
job job-search career graduate reference #coaching#consulting#supervisor#email#Etiquette#guidlines

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Liam’s Answer

Hi Cindy,

In addition to Jackson's excellent advice, I would like to add the following:

  • LinkedIn recommendation - Ask your current manager for a LinkedIn recommendation. Recruiters and HR always look at LinkedIn profiles, so having recommendations from former managers and companies you have worked for always looks good!

  • Try to specific about what you would like feedback on. This way the recommendation is tailored to the next steps in your career.

Best of luck! :)

Thank you so much Liam! I haven't thought about using LinkedIn Recommendation! Great advice! C L.

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Jackson’s Answer

Cindy: to over simplify answering your question based on Nike's commercial, the answer is "just ask."

Looks like you currently working at a part-time position and you are in the process for applying a full-time job. Therefore, you are thinking about "leaving" your current boss and yet wanting your current boss to provide a good reference to your future boss. It's great that you have a good relationship with your current boss and you had already discussed the possibility of leaving your current role and applying a new job.

Since you already had the discussion with your boss, just gently remind him that you are in the process of applying new jobs. You would really appreciate him/her providing a good job reference when future employers called.

If you have a great working relationship with your current boss, you may even enroll him/her into your new job hunting process by asking him/her where to look and who to talk to.

Thank you Jackson! I've just asked my supervisor directly for reference and it went well! Thanks! C L.

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Shubham’s Answer

Hi Cindy,

I would suggest being direct and asking your boss(supervisor) directly. There is nothing to be afraid of, simply explain your situation to your boss and you'll realize that asking for a reference is extremely common and your boss will be happy to give you one.
If you feel nervous or nervy, I'll suggest talking to your colleagues if they have had a similar experience.

Your boss may even suggest you to apply to better firms and share his personal experience which will help you tremendously!
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Lisa’s Answer

Great question. I know it can feel nerve racking to ask a boss (or anyone!) for a reference. Remember that your boss at one point in time probably had to ask their own boss for a reference, so they know exactly where you are coming from. Everyone needs references at several points in their life, so generally, I have found people are very willing to provide.

Lisa recommends the following next steps:

Write down why you think your boss would serve as a good reference- what have they seen you do that makes them qualified to speak on your behalf
Go to your boss and ask them to be a reference. Outline for them why you are asking them using the prep work you have done in the past
Thank your boss for their time and support

Thank you Lisa, for taking the time to reply to my question! Thanks for breaking down the process into three steps! I'm sure other people can benefit from your answers tooo! C L.

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