Providing a job reference

If you cannot get a reference

If you’re having trouble getting a reference, you can ask the employer who’s asked for the reference whether they will accept:

  • a reference from someone else, for example a manager or colleague
  • a reference from a different employer
  • a reference from someone you have not worked with but knows you well, sometimes called a personal or character reference

If you cannot get a detailed reference

Some employers have a policy not to give detailed references. If this is the case, ask if they can provide a basic reference instead. For example, a brief written statement of your role and the dates you were employed.