Snapzu decides (if I agree), will I put people from my current job as references for a job I'm applying for?

Hi guys! I don't think this is exactly the right place to put it, but I don't think there's a better developed tribe for this question. If there is, please let me know and I'll ask there instead.

I'm an engineer at my current job and I'm applying for a new job at a different company. They would like three references - two superiors, one peer. The problem is, my current job is my first professional job. My previous ones include call center agent, Walgreens cashier, and mail room guy at my university. I don't remember a lot of my bosses or peers from those jobs, and I'm not sure they'd really be useful. But I hesitate to put superiors or peers from my current job on there, I don't want to jeopardize my current job if they know I'm looking for another.

Should I just leave it (reference section) blank? I really, really want this new job.

EDIT: My plan so far is to get my peer reference from an intern (actually has worked there longer than me), one from a sort of supervisor who is leaving the company soon, and my boss' boss, who started his career sort of like me and I think will understand me leaving and hopefully less likely to make a fuss about it. Guess I'll see what happens on Monday :)

EDIT 2: And holy shit, I'm trying not to get too excited about this, but I am pretty sure another guy from my current company who I had a good relationship and who left recently actually went to the company I'm looking at. I've asked him for a reference. I'm hoping he can help me with more than just a reference though... I've heard people say its all about connections but I never really believed it; maybe this will make a believer out of me.

Man, I really need to sleep...

6 years ago by Jupiter7 with 8 comments

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  • idlethreat (edited 6 years ago)

    "Please understand that, by giving the information you request, it may jeopardize my standing within my current company. I have selected three alternate candidates whom I have worked with in the past and will vouch for my current level of work". Something like that. Play with it.

    But you do need pro references. If you have buddies in the company, that will do. If you have buddies at other companies (in similar fields) who know you well, then add them. however, talk to everyone you're going to add first to make sure they're okay with it.

    Oh, and speaking from 20 years of IT experience in multiple companies: try to keep in touch with people you work with at every job. Use LinkedIn. I don't think I've had a "cold job" in over 20 years. every time I moved to a new company it was directly due to someone I knew already working there and bringing me over. Profession contacts are like freaking gold.

    • trails

      I second everything written by /u/idlethreat, and have successfully practiced the same advice with great results. Professional contacts are the ultimate ace in your sleeve as you travel through your career, let alone any industry transitions. I have rarely seen someone pull off notifying their current boss/supervisor/team about potentially leaving without some kind of resultant tension. I'm not saying it can't be done smoothly, but it greatly depends on so many things - company culture, manager's temperament and practicality, the degree of investment an organization has put into you thus far, capacity for current projects, etc. Good luck whichever road you take!

  • ChelsG

    A little late here but it's definitely a good idea to put your current employer and/or peers on your resume and as references. Just be honest to your boss ahead of time and say that you are not necessarily eager to leave but that you are exploring other options. This is pretty much what I told my current employer when I was looking for another job, and the end result was me getting a raise and staying with my current employer for the time being.

  • Boudicca

    Hi, it sounds like a tricky but not unusual position.

    I can give you my point of view as someone who works in a management position and is involved in recruiting.

    1. Do not leave the reference section blank- as a manager reading through numerous applications and looking for ways to create a short list, any applications without references would be put aside and not make the list.

    Given that it is, IMO, imperative that references are supplied the issue here is how to get the best references you can.

    I have, at times had employees come to me, who were considering looking at employment elsewhere. This has to my mind, been a great opportunity to discuss the aspirations of the employee, whether those aspirations could be met at the current place of employment or whether there were other issues in the workplace or the employees personal life that were impacting on their decision. For me, transparency is the key. I would always consider it my duty to supply an honest reference for an employee, whether or not I was happy about them leaving. People deserve to be recognised for the good work they do regardless of whether it inconveniences me that they leave. It would be unethical to do otherwise. By the same token I would not give a glowing reference for an employee whose work was substandard, and I would advise the employee that I may not be the best person to put down as a referee as I have to answer honestly if I am contacted by a potential employee and I have been identified by the applicant as a referee.

    This is turning out to be longer than I expected........

    So, onto getting the best references you can, as others have noted here, the best, and most relevant references will be from your current employer given that this is your first professional appointment. Again, as someone who peruses applications on a regular basis, this is what I would be looking for and curious about.

    I would seriously consider who is in a position at your current employment to give you the references you require, and have an open, honest discussion with them. I understand that you have some concerns about this, however, unless your workplace has a culture that is unethical or unsupportive, I believe this is the preferred course of action.

    I wish you the best of luck in your application and keep us posted :)

  • drunkenninja (edited 6 years ago)

    My opinion...No, don't leave it blank, be honest the people at your current job will respect you for your honesty and the person reviewing your resume will be impressed.

    • redalastor

      People at his current job will look into finding a replacement for him.

      Same reason why you don't accept a better counter offer from your current job, you'll be branded as unloyal and they'll look to replace you at a time that's convenient to them while you have nothing to fall back on.

  • Zorgon

    Current employers are the best reference for your current work level. Definitely put them on there. If you're uncomfortable asking your boss, is there a supervisor or someone you could ask?

  • carpenoctem

    My advice - it sounds like you're worried about jeopardising your current job, so I would recommend you just say "references available upon request." I do this and it's never inhibited my opportunity to secure a new job.

    The prospective company will usually only want to speak to your references near the end of the process and if they're interested in hiring you.

    If they ask for the references early, you can provide your non-current references and explain the situation about your current ones. Most recruiters with common sense will completely understand your reasons.

    Of course, there are exceptions. For example if you've got a good relationship with your current company and you've had open conversations about your need for growth, you can be proactive, just like /u/ChelsG was, which could in a promotion/pay rise at your current job.

    But, if the opportunity isn't something you can get at your current employer, you shouldn't risk them knowing until you're more or less guaranteed to get the new position. Good luck!