Problem with References - ProTeacher Community




Home Join Now Search My Favorites
Help


      Substitute Teachers

Problem with References

>

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Singfree's Avatar
Singfree Singfree is offline
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 396
Senior Member

Singfree
 
Singfree's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 396
Senior Member
Problem with References
Old 07-14-2013, 02:11 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #1

I posted recently about getting a job interview for a social service job where I need 2 reference letters and a reference form filled out to take with me to an interview. Not to mention 3 other personal references. This is stressing me out. I have found one person, who wrote a letter for me, but I have tried contacting 3 other people, who I haven't heard back from yet. Schools out for the summer, so getting ahold of people is a challenge. I'm starting to worry. My interview is Thursday, so time is ticking! I've spent a few days making phone calls, and not being able to leave my phone. I left messages with my home phone number, because it won't be long distance to call me back. But, I don't have caller ID or an answering machine, plus I don't want to miss the call since time is of the essence. I need to get my hair cut and shop for a new outfit. I also have 3 doctor's appointments for myself and son, one Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, then my interview is Thursday. If I cancel 1 of the appointments, they will charge me and they're not friendly about cancelations, and may drop my son as a patient. Then another appointment took me a couple months to get in, and it's something I'm in need of taking care of health wise.

Is it typical for employers to ask you to bring references on the 1st interview? I thought they want those as part of the background check after they've decided to hire you? Also, is it typical for employers to have 1st time interviewees take around the company's reference form with questions and have it filled out, then brought to the interview? Isn't that something the company typically fills out while on the phone with the reference or mail it to references for them to send back? I've never heard of such a thing, and don't know if it's a good sign or not. I don't know what I'm going to do if I can't get what I need...I guess go to the interview and tell them I couldn't get ahold of some of my references...how would that look? Also, I feel uncomfortable contacting teachers/school staff at home, then if I don't get the job, I'll be back subbing. I hope it doesn't effect my job. What do you think about this situation?


Singfree is offline   Reply With Quote

pkennedy1990 pkennedy1990 is offline
 
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 126
Full Member

pkennedy1990
 
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 126
Full Member

Old 07-15-2013, 01:36 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #2

Yes. The real job market is getting worse and worse these days - I just encountered a substitute teaching application for a public school district that made you list three references, would not let you continue to the next page (online) without their EMAIL addresses, and then at the end of the application said something like it would not proceed until the references had answered the survey they'd been emailed.

This application wouldn't let you list any education except Undergrad, either, by the way.

My God. My best references are people who don't use computers they're so old. WTF?? Will I never work again? Will I be doomed to go back to Canada and live off "the Indian dole" because if anything jobs in Canada are WORSE about preferring references to college education.
pkennedy1990 is offline   Reply With Quote
Singfree's Avatar
Singfree Singfree is offline
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 396
Senior Member

Singfree
 
Singfree's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 396
Senior Member

Old 07-15-2013, 06:33 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #3

I was wondering if it's just me or if it's crazy applying for jobs anymore. When I had to get an application notarized by a notary, I thought I was in a different world. I would feel the same way if I had to do an online sub application like you filled out! I've never heard of such a thing.

I know quite a few people who don't use computers, even a teacher that doesn't. My mom said, what do you do when all your job references are dead. I told her, I guess you call a psychic medium.

It's strange but all but one of my references are emailing their reference letter to me...that was their preferred method. My problem now is the last storm did something to my printer even though it was off. I can't print, so now I'll have to run to format and print the letters. Last time I went to the library to print a word document, I couldn't get it to format right...I'm praying that doesn't happen! The computers are usually full with a big wait and I only get 30 minutes at a time on the computer. I hope I get it all done in time!

This is my 1st interview at this place, and I should be focused on preparing for questions, but I'm chasing down references, formatting documents, and trying to get it all printed in time. It used to be, jobs similar to what I'm applying to wanted references as part of the back ground check for the person they decided to hire after the interview(s). My sister, who works in a similar type place I have the interview at and who has worked at others like it, thought it was odd it was my 1st interview and they wanted references. She said, she couldn't ask people at her current job unless she was offered a job, because it would cause problems.

I'm hoping it's a good sign and it all works out!
Singfree is offline   Reply With Quote
pkennedy1990 pkennedy1990 is offline
 
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 126
Full Member

pkennedy1990
 
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 126
Full Member
On a lighter note...
Old 07-24-2013, 03:12 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #4

....the next Sub application I started, there was this question, "Are you bilingual in Spanish? (Yes or no) If YES, what language?"

I haven't even finished that one. I'm looking elsewhere!!

So far the only application I've had to have notarized is the application for a license to work in a Pharmacy -- just doing data entry of prescriptions......yes a state license to do that.

And another aspect of the original question is that I've seen job postings that say that you must submit references along with your resume/cover letter. "Resume without references will not be considered" and yada yada yada. As in, to screen out even before they decide IFFF they want to interview.

So yes, it's bad these days.

What ever happened to the days when after college, subbing was how you GOT the damn references in the first place?! It's just as bad as applying to VOLUNTEER places and even THOSE are demanding references they can check or you can't start.

Last edited by pkennedy1990; 07-24-2013 at 04:14 PM..
pkennedy1990 is offline   Reply With Quote
Singfree's Avatar
Singfree Singfree is offline
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 396
Senior Member

Singfree
 
Singfree's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 396
Senior Member

Old 07-26-2013, 02:52 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #5

I've been worried it'll soon be difficult to find work in human services unless you speak Spanish. I've been seeing more and more job ads that want people who do. I took it in college, but am not fluent in speaking it.

I see a lot of places that require references, but only names and numbers at first (often personal references that they may call if they decide you're in the running to be hired). In normal entry level jobs, I don't see them wanting upfront letters and the companies official reference form to be given to your present employer (who does that) unless they are offering the job. I don't know very many people who want their current job to know they are looking elsewhere.

I've asked people at the schools in the past if they'd be a reference. When I asked if they'd write me a letter of recommendation a couple years ago, they wanted to know if I had a job offer; I didn't. They said if they ask for letters, then they'd write one for me. In the jobs I'm applying reference letters are typically used for the background check or to select between 2 or 3 people who they can't decide between. If it was a school job (for a teaching position not sub), then I understand they want letters from professors, mentoring teachers, and/or from people from other teaching jobs, because that type of job requires student teaching experiences. What I'm applying for isn't in that realm, and in my area subs don't need reference letters either. These are entry level, stepping stone jobs, like you said, that you should build references doing. I don't have field experiences in my major at college, and had different professors all the time, so I have a couple letters from professors, but only on a student level, not on a work related level. They're 6 years old, and I read it's best to have up to date letters. Even my volunteer experience back then are outdated.

What really bothers me is the place I had the interview that wanted the letters and me to drive around with their "official" reference form to get filled out, called and CANCELED my interview the evening before. I've been feeling disillusioned and depressed at how I thought people felt about me at the schools I sub at regularly. I had a heck of a time getting ahold of people. Then, one person didn't write a letter when they said they would, and another person told me to keep then updated on what happens with the interview, but when I called them a couple days after the scheduled interview, they didn't answer. So I emailed and thanked them, explained the interview was canceled without being dramatic (just said I was disappointed), and asked if I could use the letter for future jobs, but never heard back from them. And there's a job that wants names and numbers of professional references (not letters this time), and I don't know if I should put her down or if she doesn't want bothered, which leave me with 2 people, and I need 3.

I know what you mean that it's getting more complicated and demanding for basic entry level jobs. So many people lost their jobs in my area; we were devastated by the economic recession. I'm competing with large numbers of people. We had numerous factories shutdown (I'm in an automotive area) with hundreds of people from one place being left without a job multiple that by all the places that went, there's thousands. Factories are sitting abandoned, with windows broken out, weeds, and rusting away. It looks desolate in areas. Many of these people went back to college, since there were grants for people in that situation, and there's incentives for companies to hire people who faced that situation. I happened to graduate college at the start of it. I've been looking for full-time for years. It can do a number on self-esteem, and it's been a challenge to keep positive and hopeful at times. I wish you the best of luck in finding work!


Singfree is offline   Reply With Quote
pkennedy1990 pkennedy1990 is offline
 
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 126
Full Member

pkennedy1990
 
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 126
Full Member

Old 07-27-2013, 06:23 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #6

I remember the last time I asked someone in one of the schools I'd subbed in, to write me a recommendation letter (it was for the teaching license program) and it was like pulling wisdom teeth without Novocaine (yes it was so long ago that Novocaine was still in use in the United States, that's another story) I still HAVE the letter but it's dated 1998 so I don't use it. These days I'm hard-pressed to find any of the "regular" teachers I've subbed - not "for" as those people by definition HAVEN'T seen me work now have they - around, and as you say asking for a written reference letter is still like trying to get blood out of a turnip. The overall impression I'm getting from them is that no one wants to be held liable if you screw up - the assumption being that you WILL screw up, you see. How insulting! Try to round up supervisors from any long-term Temp Agency stint I've had, and same problem. No one answers anymore. It's like one of the school districts I subbed for in the early 90's said at the Human Resource level, they don't know you well enough and may have only seen you for one or two days. I've had to resort to relatives with different last names than me, who after all have known me my entire life and do know that frankly, I'm better than what I've been getting stuck with.

I can tell from the description that you must be somewhere in the Rust Belt. I could say almost the same thing about this area but substitute "tumbleweed" and "cactus" for the dilapidated factories (this area never had much Industry, only the Nuclear Bomb factory not just back in World War 2 but they're still testing new ones of the foul things). There's a so-called "desperate" need for Math and Science teachers here in the US Southwest but here you're dealing with an overall apathy toward education in general, not just higher education. I recently picked up a "Math teacher clock" (as a teacher you probably know the thing) at a charity and the clerk at the desk didn't even know what it was (so gave me my Discount!).

Now of course, to work in ANY capacity in the Nuclear Bomb Labs, one must be thoroughly "checked" by the Federal Government so as someone with any student loans whatsoever from college, that's completely out of the question and would be a waste of my time to even GO up that stupid hill to even look around. And spending too many of the last 10 years as a "sub" or a "temp" - that's chalked up as "too sporadic a work history" and into the trash it goes.

One good thing about the Southwest is that the economy and the situation in these two states, being what it is, people tend to GET that there are lots of other people here from the New England states with teaching licenses who opt OUT of teaching -- so far I haven't run across a single school district application that's not asking for the references not even for "Math Interventionist Tutors" or the like. I've met people with teaching licenses working at the Welfare Office, at Big Lots as cashiers, at Shoe Warehouse as cashiers, and naturally at Starbucks and don't even get me started on Wal-Mart employees. (Kind of wondering how those got through the reference-checking and the credit-checking and the "no gaps in employment" parts, though -- even T-Mobile's call center emailed me twice - regarding my unfinished online application - that they want the last 5 years' worth of employment accounted for......and that's the sh** job that supposedly "takes just anybody"...)
pkennedy1990 is offline   Reply With Quote
Singfree's Avatar
Singfree Singfree is offline
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 396
Senior Member

Singfree
 
Singfree's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 396
Senior Member

Old 07-28-2013, 04:31 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #7

One of my family members worked for 25 years at one place. During the economic downturn, the place closed their doors. He worked his way into management and traveled to lend his expertise at their other buildings across the US. When he started job hunting, he found what he did now REQUIRES a 4 year college degree. After applying with no results, he went to workshops on resume/cover letter writing, drove over an hour one way for a gov't ran agency for help with his job hunt and his options. When he arrived, they were sitting behind the counter with donuts and coffee. They acted like it hurt them to get up and be of service. He was so worried; he had a family, a home, and worked hard to acquire and do all he was doing, but it was slipping away. He lost weight, looked like a walking skeleton. Every job he applied to he took seriously; the couple interviews were a shimmer of hope, to only be let down. In one, the man sitting high behind his desk looked at him and asked, "why haven't you worked in 6 months?" with an air of contempt. He answered in a respectful way, but that interview went no where. What's sad is he's worked since he was 12 doing neighborhood jobs, then as he got older he worked several jobs. Out of all the people I know, he is seriously a "workaholic." He had outside projects on the side during his 25 years at his main job. He was the 1st to be at family member's houses to help them with a home project or moving. He took care of his aging mom, stopping by EVERYDAY after work, and doing what was needed. He talked about hearing others he had worked with going through the same thing, some even had a college degree.

I had just graduated with a degree when the recession hit, and I was applying left and right with no luck. Our area in the rust belt (like you picked up on) was devastated, and it's still evident driving around seeing all the factories with broken windows, weeds growing out of the cracks, the empty parking lots. People walking the streets in a daze, worried they've been looking for work so long, their house is gone, their retirement spent. I see so many people anymore in the grocery stores looking at all the prices, standing there calculating the cost, with a look of worry. It's sad that this isn't me being dramatic, but very much a reality for thousands upon thousands of people.

For a long time that's all people talked about, I couldn't go to a store without hearing someone's story of how they lost their job and they can't find anything. The number of places that shut down in my small area is unreal. Several of the teacher's husbands lost their jobs. A few were out of work for over 2 years; one I heard finally found a job at a gas station. For most people, they're lucky to find part-time, low paying work.

When I apply now, I still hear of the record numbers of applications places are getting. We lost so many jobs, and many of those people went back to college (since there were grants that paid for it). I'm competing with more and more people, and what I found is many places like recent graduates or people who are currently working in the field. I was a non-traditional college student, had a family and had a child that needed extra care, so my husband worked and I worked at home. At my 1st interview after graduating college, I had one man actually ask my age (I should have reported it, but didn't). He was surprised to see a woman in her 30's; he was expected a 23 year old. In this economy, I think many of the places have tightened their screening for job applicants, because they get so many. But, wanting forms filled out by the applicants' current employer before an interview is taking it way too far.

I'm sorry you're facing the same problems! It's frustrating. People are busy and it seems some don't like to put their name on the line for someone they don't work with on a regular basis! Or maybe they don't like to write letters like that or don't want to start getting calls from employers. I thought I was well liked in the schools, which I'm thankful for the references I received, but very disappointed with how some of it turned out. I've sent out so many applications this summer, but have seen very little return. I'll be going back to subbing in the fall, which I'm grateful to have to make a little money. My husband lost his professional job due to budget cuts and now works in a store; he was lucky to find that. I really wish you the best in finding something that meets your needs! Thanks so much for the support, it helps talking to someone who knows what it's like!
Singfree is offline   Reply With Quote

Join the conversation! Post as a guest or become a member today. New members welcome!

Reply

 

>
Substitute Teachers
Thread Tools




Sign Up Now

Sign Up FREE | ProTeacher Help | BusyBoard

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:15 PM.

Copyright © 2019 ProTeacher®
For individual use only. Do not copy, reproduce or transmit.
source: www.proteacher.net