How to decline being someone's job reference?

posted 2 years ago in Career
Post # 2
7293 posts
Busy Beekeeper

You could just give a truthful reference. 

Post # 3
42182 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

missanonybee53:  I would simply decline to provide a reference. I would tell the employer that my contact with her was not recent and therefore nor pertinent.

I would also contact her and ask her not to give my name as a reference in the future.

Post # 4
6459 posts
Bee Keeper

That’s a sucky position to be in. Ethically, you feel obligated to give an accurate report of her performance. You could just tell her honestly that you don’t feel you have enough info to be a positive reference, but I don’t know how believable it will be given your situation. Do you interact with her at your current job? If so, there may be some benefit in just giving a generic report so that you can get a better person for her position. There’s not really a best answer here.

Post # 5
744 posts
Busy bee

missanonybee53:  I’m a little confused by your post; are you saying it was 9 years ago and you were both in high school when you last had professional experience with her?  If so, you shouldn’t be giving her any reference at all, and it’s ridiculous (and of bad judgment) of her to put you down, even if it was a glowing reference!  It was too long ago and you were both too young to have that be pertinent 9 years later.



Post # 8
716 posts
Busy bee

Are there any positive comments that you can make?  To avoid an issue with the person, you can just stick to relaying what do you like about her and her work.  The other person on the other end will be able to hear what you did and didn’t say and how much you did or didn’t say and form an opinion for themself without you having to go through the laundry list of things that you don’t like about her, which is damaging to your own credibility and reputation.

Post # 9
3528 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

missanonybee53:  I would be truthful. Explain that your contact has been limited, but that you have not been impressed by her performance over the past year. 

I hate to sound heartless, but her being in a bad financial situation isn’t your problem. She could be competing against others in worse financial situations for the same job. The person who deserves the job should get it, it seems like she doesn’t deserve the job.

Post # 10
669 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2015 - Family Farm


missanonybee53:  Just remember that it is your good name that will be attached to hers if you give a good reference and she preforms poorly. I have simple declined to give a reference when asked.

Post # 11
2634 posts
Sugar bee

I would not mess up someone’s ability to get a job by giving them a bad reference. I would simply tell the person that your professional relationship with her is not strong enough in order for you to give a helpful reference but I would not throw her under the bus.

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