Haven't worked for nearly 7 years what do I do about references

(5 Posts)
Chestnutx3 Wed 06-Feb-13 13:08:46

I have been a SAHM for 7 years, youngest going to start Reception in September and I am very ready to return to work. All the senior people in my previous company have all left, I've lost touch with them.

I have some application forms asking for a references from my former employer - I have no name to put down other than HR Director and to hope for the best.

Haven't done any work - voluntary or otherwise in 7 years, have one old ex-colleague I can use for one reference but I'm really struggling.

What do you do in this situation?

Isildur Wed 06-Feb-13 13:14:53

I'd put your old colleague down for the second reference, and put 'HR/Personnel at Whatever Address' for the first.

The employer I have at the moment will only give references along the lines of 'Isildur worked here between 00-00 and didn't murder anyone' anyway.

Anybody in HR will be able to pull those records for a reference.

If there is a problem with the references after interview, you will be able to ask who they'd consider appropriate.

starfishmummy Wed 06-Feb-13 13:19:28

I would phone the ex employer first just to check whether they still have any records about you - I don't think you would get more than a "chestnut worked here from...." after this length of time; but a " we have never heard of her" because they no longer have any records would be a disaster!

Rockdoctor Thu 07-Feb-13 20:08:29

Have you looked at LinkedIn? I don't know how senior you were, or how senior the people you are looking for are, but it is a good place to find old work colleagues and message them.

Bear in mind that they will remember your professional self from 7 years ago and may be more than happy to provide a reference. I did this myself, admittedly after only 3 years out of the workplace, and managed to get three good referees.

Snowydrift Thu 07-Feb-13 21:56:36

Although the country where I am is very bureaucratic, I'm beginning to think it has its good points. By law, when you leave a company your employer has to furnish you with a reference (your job description, how you carried it out, what you were like to work with) within a certain time period of you finishing. You keep this as a record of your work and so have a reference when you apply for another job. If the company want further references, then they can request more info from your previous employer. But you still have a basic reference from every place you've ever worked. This would save so much hassle especially for people who take a career break. Is there a reason why this would be illegal in the Uk? I'm really tempted to post on the pregnancy and childbirth boards to suggest to people about to give up their jobs to be SAHM's to get a reference first.

Check linked in is a good idea. Or call the hr department of your company and ask if they have contacts for your ex-colleagues. Even if they've now retired, they should still count as a referee.

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