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  1. #1

    Default Former Supervisor Possibly Giving Poor Reference

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: CA

    I am a "new" graduate (finished last Spring) looking for a full time job. I have no other work experience aside from an unpaid internship that was part of graduating requirements. My supervisor at this internship is my sole professional reference. I thought I did well when working under him because he gave me a good "performance appraisal" at the end (a good review was required to graduate).

    Since June of 2018, I have had *many* interviews which almost always go well but then I hear nothing back after the reference checking stage. I am suspicious that my former supervisor is responsible and giving me a lack luster review to potential employers. I have no other explanation - one employer wanted me to start on a Monday (interview on Thursday), even gave me an offer letter at the end of the interview, and then rescinded it when I went in to work on Monday morning, claiming that there had suddenly been a "hiring freeze", overnight ! The position, however, was almost immediately filled (per the alumni network).

    I can't think of any other reason why I would not get a job, given how promising the interviews go.

    If I was older or had more work or volunteer experience I would be able to find other references but as this internship was my only "work experience" almost all employers ask to speak to this man and it looks suspicious it I don't want to share his info. Is there any thing I could do to stop this man from likely giving me a poor reference and costing me very promising jobs ?

    Thank you for your advice (legal or professional) in this regard. I appreciate the help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    15,266

    Default Re: Former Supervisor Possibly Giving Poor Reference

    Stop using that unpaid internship as a reference. Yes, I realize that gives you no other professional references in your field, but using that person as a reference seems to be doing you more harm than good.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,306

    Default Re: Former Supervisor Possibly Giving Poor Reference

    Getting that first position after graduating can be daunting. And, depending upon your field of study and career interests, you may be entering into a very crowded and competitive field. You may want to investigate other entry level options that might get you a foot in the door, or related professional experience that can give you a needed boost up.

    Don't allow yourself to be defeated. There are many thousands of recent graduates in the same boat as you are.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  4. #4

    Default Re: Former Supervisor Possibly Giving Poor Reference

    You don't know for a fact he is giving you a bad reference. Here's something you can try to possibly find out. Have a friend call or email the supervisor and pretend to be a hiring manager interested in hiring you, and doing a reference check. Then have your friend forward you his reference letter or update you on his telephone comments. Make sure the friend can come off as semi-professional and practices his delivery, maybe even having some specific questions ready to ask regarding your performance, if he would rehire you or recommend you to others, etc. Good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    281

    Default Re: Former Supervisor Possibly Giving Poor Reference

    I have never worked for a company where supervisors were allowed to give references. These companies all had formal policies that HR and HR only was allowed to talk to prospective employers, and they would not say much. Basically yes/no the former employee in question was formally an employee during what dates. There is no upside what-so-ever to an employer saying any more then that.

    So agreed, have someone call, pretend they are a prospective employer, and see if your former employer is a complete idiot. That would include letting your former supervisor run their mouth.

    Not what you want to hear, but I have hired a bunch of employees over the years, and I generally would take the pile of resumes and pick out the best 3-5 applicants to follow up on. I always liked seeing a record of holding a job for an extended period of time. I can always train someone to do a job, but I cannot train someone to show up to work on time and otherwise hold the job. I have hired people with no useful work or education experience primarily because I liked their work history and they interviewed well. If someone was unable to hold a job at a single employer for 6 months, why should I assume that the result would be any different for me? Not fair, but when you get a lot of resumes for a job posting, you can afford to be picky. I hired someone who had no useful work experience or education but spent 5 years overseas in the Peace Corps in Africa (which we verified). Turned out to be a good hire. Some of the worst people I ever hired were people right out of school with no real work experience.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    367

    Default Re: Former Supervisor Possibly Giving Poor Reference

    Quote Quoting PoorReference
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    ... one employer wanted me to start on a Monday (interview on Thursday), even gave me an offer letter at the end of the interview, and then rescinded it when I went in to work on Monday morning, claiming that there had suddenly been a "hiring freeze", overnight ! The position, however, was almost immediately filled (per the alumni network)...
    Is it possible that it's not a bad reference, but that they did a background check (or a social media check) and discovered there's a problem?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    1,276

    Default Re: Former Supervisor Possibly Giving Poor Reference

    Quote Quoting PoorReference
    View Post
    Is there any thing I could do to stop this man from likely giving me a poor reference and costing me very promising jobs ?
    Unless he's defaming you, no. Have you called him to discuss your concern? You could even try and get a friend to call and ask for a reference and see what he says.

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