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A no reference policy usually means that a corporation has adopted the practice of not giving out information about current or past employees to recruiters and potential employers. Often times the only information HR or managers are allows to reveal is verification of employment with dates. Certainly nothing performance based.

However, background and reference checks are really important in today’s job market. With embezzlement and white collar crimes a real risk, employers have to be extra careful when vetting new employees. So, why then, do many places of employment have a “no reference policy?”

Unfortunately, it usually has to do with a fear of lawsuits.

Are you dealing with a No Reference Policy?

If your current or past employer has a “no reference policy” you can’t change it. However, you can provide additional information that may be enough for a potential hiring manager.

1. Performance Reviews

Keep copies of past performance reviews for future job search use. Typically, performance reviews are signed by both you and your manager, so they can lend a lot of credibility to your reliability. This is, of course, assuming they contain mostly positive information.

2. Personal References from Past Coworkers

Make it a point to stay in touch with past employees, especially the ones whom you worked closely with and got along best with. Social media and LinkedIn make this easier than ever before.

If they have also moved on from the company with the “no reference policy” than there is no reason why they can’t provide a personal reference for you. Just be sure to be clear that it is a personal reference.

Don’t give up hope when you are up against a no reference policy. Just get creative. Use those problem solving and networking skills that are so sought after in employees. You got this!

Good luck, and happy job hunting!

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