Reference letter - without burning bridges

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Reference letter - without burning bridges

Postby Ralf K. » Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:16 pm

Dear all

I left a company that I want to come back at a later timepoint. The reasons for my leaving were officially family and relocation reasons - unofficially it was a reorganization putting my in a wrong job with an unsupportive boss.

Once I quit the boss told HR I was not a loss. What would you do? I have proof that I reached all my project successfully, other departments were extremely satisfied (I kept all emails).

Now they did send me an okey-ish letter. Not sounding as I was really overachieving nor have I been bad.

I told HR that some aspects are missing in my reference letter and gave my proof, but I don't want to burn too many bridges. Any advices?

Ralf K.
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Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:32 am

Re: Reference letter - without burning bridges

Postby PG » Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:31 pm

Okey-ish letters are generally not a good thing. No letter will ever be bad since the applicant wont show it in that case.

Importantly Industry pays less attention to recommendation letters than academia. Personally I never ask for them and I dont read them if provided by the applicant.

Having a "no loss" review when leaving the Company might complicate coming back again unless you have other internal references that can help you. E-mails really cant be used once you have left the Company since they are Company property and already keeping them would be a red flag in itself.

My advice is to forget about the letter, find one or a few alternative references from your previous company and move on.
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Re: Reference letter - without burning bridges

Postby Ralf K. » Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:30 am

Thanks for the reply. Ok then I will not push too much for the letter.
I have an interim reference letter from the re-org that is fantastic.

How can one person destroy the reputation?
What would you do? Keep in touch with 3-4 other good contacts and let them know what happened? or ask a Senior Leader for a coffee break?

Ralf K.
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:32 am

Re: Reference letter - without burning bridges

Postby Dave Jensen » Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:39 am

Hi Ralf. I'm not sure that one person is "destroying your reputation" . . . Throughout your career, you'll encounter people who will be "fans" and others who will be "detractors." This person may be a detractor, but when people ask questions about your abilities and skills, most everyone will just tell the truth. And it certainly sounds like you have the support of others. Because most references (at least in the USA) are done by phone, this possible detractor will likely get a call. If asked the usual questions, hopefully will answer truthfully.

The reference process is important, sure, but it's not life or career destroying either.

“There is no such thing as work-life balance. Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life.”- Alain de Botton
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