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My References Won’t Return My Calls!


Dear Experts,

I’m a recent graduate looking for work. I did an internship my junior year with a small company where I worked directly for the owner. I didn’t do the internship my senior year because I wanted to explore other options. I know my boss was upset when I said I wasn’t returning, but he wished me luck and said he be a reference when I graduated.

Well, now I’m out looking and have given his name as a reference two times. Both times the employer said that he didn’t return their phone calls. I did e-mail him when I started looking to say I was going to use him as a reference and he e-mailed back that is was not problem.

So, what’s up? I tried calling him twice now about it and he’s not returning my calls. He’s one of only 2 references I have, so it’s important that I find a way for him to speak on my behalf, what can I do?

Here is how our T.A.P. experts answered this question:

Q#317 Not every ex-boss is helpful – even when they offer. See if co-worker from internship will be reference.(@jtodonnell)

Q#317 If someone doesn’t want to serve as your reference, don’t force the issue. You won’t like the results! (@heatherhuhman)

Q#317 Sounds like something is wrong (with him personally or as a reference). Keep trying to make contact. You need to know. (@gradversity)

Q#317 You need another refernce; disappointing tht he reneged. Find co-wkr, prof; mentor, minister as char ref. (@juliaerickson)

Q#317 Ask boss 4 reference letter on company letterhead 2 save time. Otherwise find someone else coworker or clients. (@kgrantcareers)

Q#317 Let it go. If reference won’t return calls, reflects badly on you. Find other sources. Good ideas given. (@dawnbugni)

Q#317 Use a professor. Have another coworker? Stop giving his name to prospective employers! (@beneubanks)

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