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Old 12-14-2010, 06:24 PM   #1
wdwmom2
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Question ? about filling out a reference form for someone applying for a job

If someone insisted you fill out a reference paper for them because they were applying for a job through the Board of Education, but you do not know anything about them in the capacity that they are applying for(as in the questions are more specific, about dealing and teaching children), how would you answer it???

Let's assume that they only time you really see this person is at your employer's summer and Christmas parties. You know them well enough to hold a conversation with them, but as far as you know, they have never taught any type of class in their life. They are applying for a position as a paraprofessional, which, from what I have been told, is like a teacher's assistant.

Again, let's assume, that this person is very insistent on you filling this out. If you were to put, "I am sorry that I can not fill out this form. I do not know this person in this capacity", would you consider this a bad reference?

I personally do not feel it is bad. Nothing negative is being stated. Just that you can't answer the questions due to not knowing the answer. It is definitely not a helpful reference, but not a negative one either.

Opinions anyone?

Oh, and just don't say that you wouldn't fill it out. Again, let's just assume that this is not an option! Just play along with me, pretty please
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Old 12-14-2010, 06:31 PM   #2
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Why would some one want to list you as a reference if you don't know them professionally enough to know what they do??

I can understand if you worked together, prior supervisor, or even a teacher to them. But it sounds like you barely know this person in a work or personal situation.

It might hurt that you put you don't know this person well enough, but they should've chose the references a bit more carefully. I was always told to put some one you know, you work with, and they know your work habits, or a teacher that knows your work is above the rest of the class.

I'm guessing your work with the Board or somewhere below? So they're hoping they can get an extra boost by having a reference from you? Their previous work experience should get them in the door, but not by personal reference from the inside.
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Old 12-14-2010, 06:37 PM   #3
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I would never do it.

I'm thinking that the only reason they chose YOU is because, yes, you know them, but not well enough to REALLY know them. Perhaps their REAL boss/co-workers know more about them... things that maybe they wouldn't want their potential new employer to know.
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Old 12-14-2010, 06:42 PM   #4
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If they had put me down as a personal reference (i.e. I can state about their character, demeanor, promptness or other stuff I would know from knowing them personally) when it came to those types of questions I would just say that I knew them on a personal level, not a professional level. If they put me down as a professional reference, I don't know what I'd say.
Maybe call the person and ask them what they were expecting might help???
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Old 12-14-2010, 06:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SandrA9810 View Post
Why would some one want to list you as a reference if you don't know them professionally enough to know what they do??

I can understand if you worked together, prior supervisor, or even a teacher to them. But it sounds like you barely know this person in a work or personal situation.

It might hurt that you put you don't know this person well enough, but they should've chose the references a bit more carefully. I was always told to put some one you know, you work with, and they know your work habits, or a teacher that knows your work is above the rest of the class.

I'm guessing your work with the Board or somewhere below? So they're hoping they can get an extra boost by having a reference from you? Their previous work experience should get them in the door, but not by personal reference from the inside.

Okay, I know a little of the work history. None of it deals with children or teaching. If there has been something further in the past, I am not aware of it. Prior experience working with children has never been mentioned.

And, no, I don't work for the BOE. So no extra boost from me. I just happen to work with a person that this job hunter is related too. But my co-worker is not aware I was given this form. As a matter of fact, co-worker may get upset knowing relative was in the office bothering me to fill the form out!
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Old 12-14-2010, 06:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKL_Megs View Post
I would never do it.

I'm thinking that the only reason they chose YOU is because, yes, you know them, but not well enough to REALLY know them. Perhaps their REAL boss/co-workers know more about them... things that maybe they wouldn't want their potential new employer to know.
I think they chose me because I always will try to help someone out if I can. Just a guess

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Originally Posted by Acklander View Post
If they had put me down as a personal reference (i.e. I can state about their character, demeanor, promptness or other stuff I would know from knowing them personally) when it came to those types of questions I would just say that I knew them on a personal level, not a professional level. If they put me down as a professional reference, I don't know what I'd say.
Maybe call the person and ask them what they were expecting might help???
All the questions were more on the professional level. Not just like a simple character reference.

Trust me, I don't want to call him. He will just try to lead me in the direction of filling it out to best suit him. THAT, I will not do. The most honest answer is the one I stated in my OP. I know him personally, not professionally. Unfortunately, he just doesn't get it.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:23 PM   #7
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That's one crazy situation. Sounds like he's had some bad previous work experience and can't rely on past employers or co-workers for a good reference.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:30 PM   #8
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My sister-in-law put me down as a personal reference for a job (and did not tell me). The hiring manager called me on my cell phone while I was on vacation (SIL gave them the number) and wanted to do a phone interview with me about her. I feel your pain.

They did ask some questions that I couldn't answer. What I basically said was "I am a personal reference, not a professional one. I am not qualified to say whether she can do the job she's applying for, but I don't have any reason to believe she can't. However, I have known her for 10 years and believe she is trustworthy, industrious, etc...." blah, blah, blah.

It's a little different since I do actually know her more than just passing in the hallway. But I think you could probably make it clear that you're speaking on a personal level... and you could even make the limited nature of your relationship more apparent if you feel it's appropriate. "Although I've never worked directly with Bob, I believe him to be (honest? trustworthy?)"

If they are looking at you as a personal reference, those answers should be good enough. If he put you down as a professional reference, they are going to realize that you were not a good choice (because of your limited relationship) and that might count against him... but that was his mistake, not yours.
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:02 PM   #9
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I know you said lets play along but I would just pitch it in the garbage and be done with it. if I never worked with a person or knew them personally, why would they assume I am going use my "name" for their benefit.

but then I have always been of the belief that all you really have is your "name" and your "word" and once they are lost it's hard to get them back.

if they gave your contact info to the new employer and you get contacted by said employer, I would just be honest with what I knew about them or didn't know about them, because you never know how something like this can turn around on you.

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