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Previous employer doesn't give references, argh!!

(13 Posts)
Longdistance Thu 26-Sep-13 16:14:42

I'm hoping to return to the world of work when we move back to the Uk next month.

I was with my previous employer for nearly 15 years, and loved this job. However, I left to emigrate to Oz, so left whilst I was on maternity leave. My actual leaving date is July 2012.

I have since found out, the company will not give a personal reference, and am confused as to what to write on my CV, or what am I supposed to do?

This is a very large company who are on the FTSE 100 index, so very well known, but how do go about proving I worked for them. I have lots of snapshots from managers about my performance, and letters from customers complimenting my work. Ant ideas are welcome.

Help, I'm stuck confused

VivaLeThrustBadger Thu 26-Sep-13 16:20:10

When they say they won't give a personal reference does it mean they won't give a reference saying you're a nice person, good team player, etc but will give a ref saying you worked for them from this date to that date, were punctual and had x many days off sick?

VivaLeThrustBadger Thu 26-Sep-13 16:20:44

Because I think the latter type of references are becoming more common?

cottoncandy Thu 26-Sep-13 16:22:12

Usually not giving a personal reference doesn't mean that they won't confirm that you worked there etc. They just don't want the liability associated with a full reference. You might find that your direct manager will speak to them informally too.

cherrytomato40 Thu 26-Sep-13 16:22:27

I believe they have to, at the very least, confirm that you worked for them and the dates. I would call the HR dept.

showtunesgirl Thu 26-Sep-13 16:26:49

My company will not give out written references either but will say nice things on the phone. Maybe this might be an option?

KnackeredCow Thu 26-Sep-13 16:28:20

It's quite normal for companies not to give references. I've never worked anywhere that does beyond confirming that you worked for them, the dates you worked and the positions you held (all except one were very large organisations). It's never stopped me getting a job. I've never said anything either. Just given my previous employer as a referee. I believe there's usually some sort of line in the "non- reference" that the new employer shouldn't infer anything from the lack of reference.

Longdistance Thu 26-Sep-13 16:51:32

Wow, thanks for the replies.

It's just the lack of what to write on my CV, who to contact.

They won't give a reference over the phone. It pretty much is a 'Longdistance worked at Xxx from 1998 to 2012 as such and such position' no nice frilly things.

They won't even give a manager to contact hmm

KnackeredCow Thu 26-Sep-13 19:04:49

HR should suffice. When I left one organisation I put my manager's name, but HR intercepted it anyway.

If you're that concerned then give your manager's name. They should forward it to the appropriate HR person when they receive it.

EBearhug Thu 26-Sep-13 22:58:57

It's just the lack of what to write on my CV, who to contact.

My CV says "References available on request." It's usually one of the last stages of going for a job - job offers are usually "subject to references." I don't think I've ever been asked for references without having had a job offer first. So for many applications, it's not something to worry about.

My current and previous employers (i.e. HR) will only give "Bearhug worked here between April 2005 and November 2009 in the role of..." type references. My current and previous managers have agreed that I can ask them for a personal reference if required.

Longdistance Fri 27-Sep-13 00:00:55

That's what I'm looking for Bearhug, thanks for that. Think I'll update my CV now smile

There really isn't one manager who I could name. It's a really odd set up, as I'd have a different manager in my team everyday. And in all those years, only had to deal with a main manager in an office twice.

I don't want to put what I used to do for a living as it'll out me.

slev Fri 27-Sep-13 15:13:29

I'd second what EBearhug says - I've never put specific referees on my CV (not least because they might have left and I would know), I've just gone with the "available on request" line - and most of the time they haven't been followed up, employers have just taken my word for it.

The only exception to that is my current employer who do full background checks because we're industry regulated - but in that instance I just gave them the details for the HR department and that was fine, they just confirmed dates of employment etc. I don't think I've ever had a personal referee and it's never been a problem.

Good luck!

EBearhug Fri 27-Sep-13 21:11:14

And it also means, when you update your CV to tailor it for every application, it's one part you don't have to think about.

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