Who Should You List as a Reference When You Didn’t Get Along With Your Boss?

January 25th, 2019

Finding a new position in the technology field takes planning, effort, and sometimes, tact. Remember, the IT world can be an insular community, especially when you work in a medium-sized metropolitan area. Running into a former boss or coworker you didn’t get along with is a regular occurrence.

So what’s the best strategy for listing references when considering a former boss who wasn’t your favorite? Having the right plan in place is the smart move for any successful technology job search.

Leverage a Trusted Coworker as a Reference

A former coworker who served as a team lead or a senior-level position on a project with you serves well as a reference instead of a boss. It is important to be proactive and contact them before submitting their name. Ask them to highlight your skill set and affinity for collaboration when they worked with you.

What about a Mentor or Someone from your Professional Network?

Consider contacting a tech professional who helps mentor you throughout your career. They are likely to be able to offer keen insights on what you’d bring to the table for a new employer. Once again reach out to the person before including them on your reference list.

This same concept applies to fellow IT professionals you know through your networking efforts. Their suitability as a reference depends on how closely you’ve interacted – perhaps working together on a volunteer project?

Speaking of which, contacts made through charitable work are another great source of references, especially on technology-related efforts. Considering the growing importance of soft skills in the tech world, these references are likely able to comment on you possessing those kind of abilities.

Do You Still Consider Asking that Former Boss for a Reference?

Ultimately, your former bosses still make the most valuable references for a hiring manager. Even if you feel you didn’t get along with them, still reach out to see how they react as a reference. Maybe their opinion of you is better than you think?

Additionally, speak with your tech recruiter on strategies for building a reference list sure to impress potential employers. Their insights play a key role in ensuring you get the job offer of your dreams.

When searching for a top notch IT recruiter look no further than the team at Synerfac. As one of the preeminent technology staffing agencies in the country, we also know the companies looking for talented pros like you. Connect with us soon.

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