← Back

Why you can forget about the stress of asking for a reference letter

POV: You come across your dream job opportunity. You have been waiting for an opening that suits your location, skillset, and ideal work environment for months. You scroll through the requirements, and see the usual expectations for a cover letter, resume, and statement of interest. But then you see it: The dreaded professional reference letter. You panic, scanning your memory and praying that you asked your last employer for a reference letter, even though you know you didn’t think to do so back then. You cringe to yourself, thinking of having to call your last boss and asking them, ever so politely, to write you a reference letter for your next job.

Trust us, we’ve been there. We’re here to tell you that this doesn’t have to be you.

Source: My References Canada: Canada’s long-term solution for employment references.

There is nothing worse than the awkward phone call or email to your previous employer, asking them to write you a reference letter recommending you for your next position. Whether you had a fantastic relationship with your previous employer, or your previous position didn’t end in the best way you could have imagined, it can be tough to ask for a professional favor months after your last day working there.

Do I need reference letters to succeed in the workforce?

The truth is that reference letters are incredibly useful for employers. Put yourself in the shoes of an employer for one second: Can they really guarantee that an applicant will provide the value they promise in their application materials? No matter how thorough and detailed an applicant’s resume and cover letter are, it is incredibly easy to exaggerate, embellish, or simply fabricate experiences and skillsets. Reference letters are essential in verifying an applicant’s previous positions, workplace skills, education, scope of responsibilities, qualifications, and past performance.

A strong reference letter can set one applicant apart from another in a saturated and competitive professional field. Reference letters can even be submitted when they are not required to provide further evidence and background for an applicant’s work history, skills, and education. The reference letter can specifically provide more context and valuable insight when it comes to the skills and aptitudes the job placement is looking for in potential applicants.

How can I avoid that awkward phone call?

Ultimately, asking for a reference letter from an employer right before leaving a position is the best way to avoid the regrettable experience of having to contact them weeks or months later. We know it can be tough to muster the courage to ask your superior for an unpaid favor (cue the deep breathing exercises before dialing the number). There is also the absolute nightmare of being unable to reach your previous employer. They might have left the company or changed their contact information. What do you do then?

Now, we know it can be tough to think so far ahead as to collect a reference letter on your way out. However, being forward-thinking is rewarding in today’s day and age. That is where My References Canada steps in.

How can My References Canada help?

My References Canada helps you stay prepared and organized when it comes to the job application process. By making requesting references simple and straightforward, we save you the headache of making those awkward phone calls, composing emails, and chasing your previous employers. All that we ask is that you keep yourself and your future success in mind at all times: Gather those reference letters while simultaneously compiling the evidence of your professional growth!

My References Canada makes requesting, viewing, and sending references an absolute breeze. Here are just a few ways we can help

  1. The My References Canada application allows you to request a reference letter via SMS or email. With our automated system, you no longer need to muster up the courage to get through that phone call with your previous employer.
  2. You can store your references for all your future job application periods. Once you have secured a reference letter, it is stored in our system for your use. Say ‘goodbye’ to following up multiple times! My References Canada also allows your previous employers to update their personal contact information if it ever changes, so you can truly reuse and recycle those awesome reference letters!
  3. Your reference letters are always available upon request for any employer. With your toolbox of reference letters all set up and ready to go, you can share them with any potential employer. All you need is their email and phone number and you are set for success!

Still nervous about asking your previous or current employer for a favor?

How can My References Canada help?

When requesting a reference letter, you have the option of preparing a letter of recommendation on your own. This allows you to compose your own ideal letter, touching on your achievements, skills, education, experience, and workplace contribution. Not only do you get to mention the exact details you want to focus on, but you save the time and effort for the individual you are asking! All they have to do is click on the link sent to them via email or SMS, and fill out their basic contact information! They can also make any edits they see fit when viewing your letter.

Can it get any easier?

My References Canada will allow you to view all your reference letters, but will also guarantee authenticity by not allowing any edits after the letters have been issued. Once the reference letters have been issued, you never have to worry about losing them again. To send your reference letters, all you need to do is provide the contact information of the individuals receiving them. You can even attach a cover letter and resume to complete and finalize your job application in one cohesive approach!

And it keeps getting better! My References Canada also sends your reference letter writers an automatic annual email asking them to update their contact information if anything changed. You truly don’t have to lift a finger to secure powerful and effective letters of recommendation.

Keep the credit for your work ethic. Don’t let your skills and value go unnoticed and unaccounted for!

Take initiative today and secure your dream career.