Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Do I know that person any more? Keeping references fresh….
I received a call last month, an HR person looking for a reference on someone I’d managed back in my computer lab days. Only trouble was, I hadn’t seen or heard from
Louis in at least 10 years. I mean, was he still the same likeable guy I’d managed as a student? Or had he morphed into someone I wouldn’t even recognize any more?
If that were one isolated incident, I might dismiss it as a fluke. But no-siree-bob. I got a similar call last week wanting to know all about Kenneth, another student I’d known
few years ago.
I mean, I seriously like—or liked—both of these former students but was, in essence, stuck in a conundrum. Between a rock and a hard place, as it were. Should I make something
up or admit that I had no idea any more how they would perform on the job?
I’ll leave you guessing as to how I resolved that dilemma. But the moral of the story is: if you want a convincing reference, stay in touch.