10 answers

Is it okay to ask for reference from your previous employer on Facebook ?

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college student, seeking an internship position, which requires three professional references on the reference page.


i've sent formal email to my previous employer, but I haven't gotten any reply yet. I really need the reference before next week. We are FB friends, is it appropriate to message my previous supervisor on FB and politely ask for reference ?????


btw, we had great work relationships.


THANK YOU !

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10 answers

Alexis’s Answer

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If you have their phone number or email that would be better. A reference is a professional request and using more professional platforms are better. You can even call your previous job and ask when your supervisor is working and ask them then.

Yes, I agree with Alexis's answer. I would try calling your old workplace and try emailing again. If you still don't here back through these methods, then I would say it would be okay to message them on Facebook and politely ask them to check their email/give you a call back when they have time. Good luck! Caylyn K.
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Kajal’s Answer

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I have personally done this with my previous manager. I would say this is okay depending on the kind of rapport you have with your manager. In my case, my previous manager and I were part of the same extra curricular and hence were friends outside of work as well. I hence felt comfortable reaching out to him via FB since it added the personal touch

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M. Lavern’s Answer

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Hi Cindy,

It would be fine to contact your previous employer in this matter. Explain you have tried other means of communication to get in touch. Let your employer know how much you learned from working with him/her and you find that he/she serve as a mentor to you during your employment and you very much would like his/her reference acknowledge or a letter of recommendation for future reference in your field of study.

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Vadim’s Answer

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You have to remember that you want the best reference, if your previous employer did not feel like you even took the time to personally ask, he/she might not go a step further by providing the best reference. I would do it in person, or ask the employer what is best for them.

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Scott’s Answer

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I would find this to not be entirely appropriate. It would be better to even contact the company you worked for via a business phone line they have then to send a facebook message. You want to make sure to use professional platforms for professional requests.

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Dana’s Answer

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Lots of really great advice here already. It seems you've tried to reach out to them via email. How long has it been since you sent this email? Generally speaking, I would give them at least 3-5 business days to get back to you (they may be busy!). If you haven't heard from them in 5 business days, I would then try a phone call. If the phone call yields no results, then use utilize Facebook. It seems you have the sort of relationship with your previous employer that allowed you two to be friends on FB anyway, so I see no harm in it so long as you've tried other avenues of communication first. Good luck!

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Taylor’s Answer

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Hey Cindy,


Like the other posts, it really depends on what relationship you have with your previous manager. I would really only do it if you are both close friends and have known each other for a long time. References should mainly be done through email/phone, not through a social media website or text (unless its LinkedIn). References should usually be asked at least a month in advance, but since you have short time schedule I would go ahead and see if you can find their phone number. If you don't have your manager's phone number, ask him over Facebook if that's the only avenue you have.


Good luck!

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Scott’s Answer

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I would find this to not be entirely appropriate. It would be better to even contact the company you worked for via a business phone line they have then to send a facebook message. You want to make sure to use professional platforms for professional requests.
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Joseph A.’s Answer

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Hi Cindy,


My advice is to keep social media and employment separate (unless it involves LinkedIn). It's a good practice especially as many companies frown upon employees using social medial for unofficial business purposes. By not asking your former supervisor for a reference on Facebook, you're not only keeping social media and employment separate, you're respecting your supervisor's right to do so. If you tried other modes of communication and he or she still hasn't responded and you want to reach out to him or her over Facebook, I recommend that you use the Instant Messaging feature to keep the communication private.


You should also contact the organization's HR department for information about the company's policy on references. If you have your employee handbook from the time you worked there, you should find the policy in the handbook. Many organizations restrict who and what information can be provided in a job reference. In the past, many former employees have sued former employers for unfavorable references even when the references were truthful and companies were held accountable. To protect their interests, many companies require that only employees in the HR department may provide references when requested in writing bearing the former employee's signature authorizing a release of information. Even in those cases, the information provided to a prospective employer may only include dates of employment and last position held. Salary information is usually provided only in cases involving financial transactions such as loan and mortgage applications.

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Yasmina’s Answer

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Hi Cindy,


If I were you, I would contact him on Facebook to request the reference, but would ask for it to be published on a professional network (like LinkedIn).


Good luck
Yasmina

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