Who can provide references?
- References are required especially when the selection is for management positions.
- In Western world, this is a common practice with pretty standardized procedure except for the USA. Very often the American employers reject to provide references due to the number of cases in which employees, provided with unsatisfactory recommendations, file suit against employers.
- In Bulgaria references are provided orally or in writing. They normally have little or no impact at all on the hiring decision. This is especially true when candidates are applying to a Bulgarian company.
- Two extremes are observed on the market:
- Common practice is to have:
- Extremely positive written references, often prepared by the candidates themselves, which describes them without any shortcomings
- Very negative, usually orally provided reference (though the latter may have worked for the company for more than 5 years)
Some tips on references:
- The most suitable sources of references are:
- Former employers – HR Manager, General Manager or the direct supervisor. References from peers are not accepted well
- Former or present professors – usually for recent graduates and youngsters
- Public figures – a reference from a well known public figure or from acquaintance of yours - mentor, trainer, client, etc.
- The best form of references: Oral reference has bigger impact than written
- Some technical tips:
- Wherever you have a traineeship, study work, etc. always try to obtain a reference upon successful completion of the assignment
- In Bulgaria employers tend to view references provided by foreigners more favorably
- The reference must be neither too short, nor too long – to one page.
- Normally the reference should have the following structure:
- Introduction – for how long and in what capacity has the referent known the referee
- Body – objective and in-depth analyses of the personality and the job-related characteristics; not only positive features but also some areas for development should be stated in order to make the reference credible
- Close – whether the referent recommends the candidate for new assignments
- In many cases multi-national companies have standardized forms for references, which they provide to referents
Request for References Letter
34 Pravda St.
Tel: 0489 23 23 23
12 October 2000
Dear Mr. Iliev
By this letter I would like to ask you for assistance in my pursuit of employment in
the field of brand management – cosmetics.
I am currently applying for a Brand Manager position with big multinational producer of cosmetics. I have been short-listed after the first two rounds of interviews and now I have been asked to present references from past employers.
I consider my employment with ABS Advertising as one of my most valuable experiences in terms of professional expertise acquired, personal development and professional results achieved. For these reasons I would appreciate if you could provide me with a reference regarding my performance as Account Manager with ABS Advertising.
I will be grateful if you assist me in this matter. I look forward to hearing from you.
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