If your reference is not responding: What should you do?

References play a crucial role in the job application process, as they provide valuable insights into your skills, qualifications, and work ethic to potential employers. However, what should you do if your reference is not responding? It can be frustrating and concerning, but there are steps you can take to address this situation effectively. In this article, VTJ will explore practical tips and strategies to navigate the challenge of unresponsive references. Whether your reference is busy or has simply overlooked your request, we will provide guidance on how to handle the situation and ensure that your job application remains strong. Let’s delve into the strategies that can help you when your reference is not responding.

>>>Read more: 40+ ESL Teacher Interview Questions & Answers


What is a reference?

If your reference is not responding: What should you do?

If your reference is not responding: What should you do?

A reference is a document or statement that provides information about someone’s character, qualifications, or achievements. It is typically used in the context of a job application or academic pursuit to provide evidence of the individual’s abilities and suitability for a particular role or program.

A reference may come in various forms, including letters of recommendation, contact information for individuals who can speak to the applicant’s abilities, or written assessments of an individual’s performance. References are typically requested by prospective employers or academic institutions to verify information provided by the applicant and gain further insight into their skills and experience.

Having strong references can be a crucial aspect of landing a job or gaining admission to a program, as they can serve as evidence of an individual’s skills, reliability, and potential. It is important to carefully consider who to ask for a reference and ensure that they are familiar with the individual’s work or academic performance to provide a well-informed and positive assessment.

>>>Read more: Top 5 tips for a successful teaching job interview in Vietnam

>>>Read more: 20+ Common teaching job interview questions & answers

Do companies actually check references?

Most companies do check references as part of their standard hiring process

Most companies do check references as part of their standard hiring process

Many job seekers often wonder whether companies actually check the references provided in their job applications. The answer is yes, most companies do check references as part of their standard hiring process. In fact, checking references is a crucial step in verifying a candidate’s background and qualifications before making a hiring decision.

There are several reasons why companies check references. First and foremost, checking references allows the employer to verify the information provided by the candidate, such as their previous job titles, responsibilities, and accomplishments. It also provides insight into the candidate’s work ethic, attitude, and character, which can help the employer determine if they are a good fit for the job and the company culture. Additionally, checking references can help the employer identify any potential red flags, such as a history of poor performance, disciplinary actions, or conflicts with colleagues.

However, it is important to note that not all companies check references with the same level of thoroughness. Some may only check a few references, while others may contact every reference provided. In some cases, a company may also conduct additional background checks, such as criminal history or credit checks, depending on the nature of the job.

Overall, job seekers should assume that companies will check their references and take the time to carefully choose references who can provide positive and relevant feedback about their work experience and qualifications. It is also important to maintain strong professional relationships with former colleagues and supervisors, as they may be contacted for references in the future.

>>>Read more: Best 8 ways to introduce yourself in an interview

>>>Read more: Teacher Strengths and Weaknesses: How to Answer?

What to do when your reference is not responding

What to do when your reference is not responding

What to do when your reference is not responding

Follow up with your reference

The first step is to reach out to your reference and follow up with them. They may have missed your initial email or phone call, or they may have simply forgotten. A polite and friendly reminder can help jog their memory and encourage them to respond.

>>>Read more: How To Ace Your TEFL Interview

Try alternative contact methods

If your reference is still not responding, try alternative contact methods. Perhaps they are more responsive to text messages or social media messages. Alternatively, try reaching out to them through a mutual friend or colleague who may have a closer relationship with your reference.

>>>Read more: How To Pass The Dreaded Demo Lesson

Consider alternative references

If your reference is still not responding after multiple attempts, it may be time to consider alternative references. Reach out to other professional contacts who can speak to your skills and experience. This may include former colleagues, supervisors, or clients.

>>>Read more: Create a Winning CV for Teachers in 2023

Be honest with potential employers

If you are unable to reach your reference or find an alternative, it is important to be honest with potential employers. Let them know that you are having difficulty reaching your reference and offer alternative contacts who can speak to your skills and experience. Honesty and transparency can go a long way in building trust and credibility with potential employers.

>>>Read more: How important is each part of a CV?

Build a strong professional network

Lastly, to avoid this situation in the future, it is important to build a strong professional network. Stay in touch with former colleagues, attend industry events, and build relationships with other professionals in your field. This can help ensure that you have a strong pool of references to draw from in the future.

>>>Read more: Teacher Cover Letter Examples and Templates

Tips to help your reference be prepared

It's important to ensure your references are prepared to speak positively about you to potential employers

It’s important to ensure your references are prepared to speak positively about you to potential employers

Having strong references can be a key factor in landing a job. However, it’s important to ensure your references are prepared and equipped to speak positively about you to potential employers. Here are some tips to help your references be prepared:

Ask for Permission

Before using someone as a reference, make sure to ask for their permission. This will not only ensure that they are willing to speak on your behalf but also give them a heads-up that they may be contacted.

Provide Job Details

Make sure to provide your references with specific details about the job you are applying for. This includes the job title, company name, and a brief description of the position. This information can help them tailor their comments to the job and highlight specific skills or experiences that are relevant.

Share Your Resume

Provide your references with a copy of your resume so they can see your experience, skills, and achievements. This can help them provide more specific and detailed comments about your qualifications.

Remind Them of Your Accomplishments

Your references may not remember all of your accomplishments off the top of their head, so it’s important to remind them. Share a list of your key accomplishments in your previous positions, and explain why they are relevant to the job you are applying for.

Keep Them Updated

Let your references know when you apply for a job and when you have an interview scheduled. This can help them be prepared to receive a call or email from a potential employer and be able to respond promptly.

Thank Them

After your job search is over, make sure to thank your references for their time and support. This can help maintain a positive relationship with them and make them more likely to support you in the future.

By following these tips, you can help your references be prepared to speak positively about you to potential employers. Remember to keep in touch with them and show your appreciation for their support.

>>>Read more: 15 Best Skills to Put on Your Resume and Impress Employers

>>>Read more: Successful Teacher Resume: A complete guide

>>>Read more: How to Avoid a Resume Black Hole: 8 Tips for Job Seekers

In conclusion, navigating the situation when your reference is not responding can be a cause for concern during your job search. However, it is crucial not to panic or let it discourage you. Instead, approach the situation with a proactive mindset and explore alternative strategies to present your qualifications to potential employers. Utilize other professional contacts, such as mentors, colleagues, or supervisors, who can vouch for your skills and abilities. Additionally, consider providing supplementary documentation, such as performance reviews or project portfolios, to showcase your expertise. Remember to communicate openly and professionally with prospective employers, explaining the unavailability of your reference and offering alternative solutions. By demonstrating your resourcefulness, adaptability, and determination, you can overcome the challenge of an unresponsive reference and continue to pursue your career goals successfully. Keep focusing on presenting yourself in the best light possible and showcasing your value to potential employers. With perseverance and resilience, you can navigate this obstacle and find the right opportunity for your professional growth.


How long should it take for a reference to respond?

The response time for a reference can vary depending on various factors such as their availability and schedule. However, it is reasonable to expect a response within one to two weeks. It’s important to allow them enough time to provide a thoughtful and thorough recommendation.

Why is my reference check taking so long?

There could be several reasons why your reference check is taking longer than expected. It’s possible that the reference is busy and hasn’t had a chance to respond yet. Additionally, some references may require more time to gather information and provide a comprehensive recommendation. Patience is key in such situations.

Can you lose a job because of a reference?

Yes, it is possible to lose a job because of a negative reference. If a reference provides unfavorable feedback or raises concerns about your suitability for the position, it can impact the hiring decision. It’s important to choose your references carefully and ensure they have a positive and accurate perception of your abilities and work ethic.

Do employers check all 3 references?

Not all employers check all three references for every candidate. The extent of reference checks may vary depending on the employer’s hiring process and the position being filled. Some employers may only contact one or two references, while others may choose to reach out to all three. It’s best to prepare a list of strong references and be ready for potential contact from employers.

Can you put friends as references?

It is generally not recommended to put friends as references, especially if they haven’t worked directly with you in a professional capacity. Employers typically prefer references who can speak to your work experience, skills, and professional character. It’s best to choose references who have firsthand knowledge of your abilities and can provide relevant insights to potential employers.

Related Posts

Effective Tips on How to Market Yourself for Teaching English Online
June 6, 2023
Teaching English online has become a popular career choice, offering...
17 Transferable Teaching Skills: Unlock Your Dream Job Potential
May 30, 2023
In today's competitive job market, transferable teaching skills have become...
Why do you want to work at this school? 10 Sample answers
May 26, 2023
This article presents 10 sample answers to the question, "Why...