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When You Don't Want to Be a Resume Reference

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by 21, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    Bingo. So far, this is what I did: sent Dad an email back saying 'hey, I'm flattered, have Scooter give me a call, I'm not sure I'm the best person for this, since I never worked with him, and that's really what those folks are looking for....but I'll discuss it with him! Happy New Year, love to the family!'

    I have my doubts about whether he'll actually call.

    Frank, I agree completely...a weak reference is worse than no reference. Of course, these people DO value connections more than they value actual quality, so I think it would be lost on them.
  2. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    One employee: His references RAVED about him.
    Another: You think they wouldn't? Why do you think they put those people down? Call some other people.

    I think talking to the kid directly is indeed the best advice, 21.
  3. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    It's probably a good bet you never hear from the kid.
  4. loveyabye

    loveyabye Guest

    (threadjack) I soon foresee myself in a similar situation, but it's with my own brother. He told me he likes NBA and MLB so he wants to be a sports writer. He's majoring in creative writing, is a junior at a prestigious (tho not for journalism) private school and is a very good writer, but so far hasn't shown any aptitude in being a good worker. He said to me once, "you can help me out with a job, right?" uh, no, probably not, actually. the kid failed a drug test for a summer job two years ago and didn't even get a job last summer. but, he's blood.
  5. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    Or worse, I WILL hear from him.

    'Um, yeah, my dad said I should give you a call?'
    'Well, he asked me about being a reference, I thought we should talk about that.'
    'Um, yeah, okay.'
    'So do you have other references?'
    'Oh, yeah, my dad is the accountant for the girl who does the traffic report on some radio station, we got her....and some guy who owns a lot of car dealers, he buys a ton of advertising so my Dad said he'd be good....'
    'Anyone you worked with?'
    'Um...you mean like at the summer camp?'
    'No, I mean anyone you worked with in media?'

    After which he will call Dad and tell him what a bitch I am.

    I guess I have enough friends.
  6. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    Better yet, tell him he should shadow you for a couple days, to get a feel for a journalist's daily existence.

    That should be fun.
  7. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Sounds like 21 will have to stand in line behind the traffic report chick.
  8. RedCanuck

    RedCanuck Active Member

    I had a professor once who used to have a lot of kids ask to put him down as references, but few actually took the time to find out what he thought of them. He'd always say sure, you can put me down, but he always answered with his honest opinion. For some, that usually meant they weren't getting the job they were after.

    I'd do the same, but certainly, I like the suggestions of making the boy earn his good recommendation himself.
  9. Jones

    Jones Active Member

    This is pretty embarrassing, 21. You could have just told my dad you didn't want to give me a reference.

    Go to hell, fogey.
  10. thegrifter

    thegrifter Member

    Damnit! you stole my post!
  11. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    This was my thought, too. Have him send you clips, especially. Scooter, you do have clips, right? The important thing is, he has to do it himself, which, from what you've told us, he doesn't know how to do yet (note to self, don't let Little Wannabe grow up to be like this ...). Even if his dad's connections help him get a job, they won't help him keep it.
  12. All good advice, especially having the kid get in touch with you first. Let me add one more thing: Besides being honest, or less than glowing, with a potential employer (the parents will have no way of knowing what you've told them), you need to be honest with the parents. I understand that will be hard to do.

    I don't think you have to be brutally honest. But I do think you can tell them, as you've already pointed out, that you might not be the best person to tell an employer about the kid's strengths and weaknesses. That's probably the best, and most tactful, way to let them know you're willing, but not exactly glowing.

    As a parent, I think I know my kids' good and bad points. Anything you'd tell them about the kid wouldn't be new to them. The parents have put you on the spot here. I can understand why you'd like to help them, but I also think they need to know that there's only so much you can do to help get the kid a job.
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