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Job application - okay to send more than they ask for?


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27 replies to this topic

#1 Academic

Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:04 PM

I know this is probably the wrong forum for this, but I'm posting here for traffic as I want to send this application in the next couple of hours.

I'm about to apply for my dream job. They asked for a selection criteria response and CV, nothing else. I have those all ready to go, but I've also just received a pretty amazing written reference from someone that I think could really help me - they are quite high profile in the field. Is it okay to send this with my application as well, or is it too irritating to the employer to have even more information to wade through?

#2 PatG

Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:08 PM

How long is the reference? If it is fairly short (half a page?) then perhaps include it.  Do they ask for referees?  If so list them at the end of the CV and add a note "see attached written reference".

#3 Fanny McPhail

Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:13 PM

I personally would send it. I don't think sending it would negatively impact your application.

If they have to conform to strict rules, about what they do or don't accept, they can always disregard it at this stage of the process.




#4 Academic

Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:17 PM

It's actually quite long, just over one page. I have referees on my CV but this person isn't one of them, as I only have my past/current direct managers on there, as that is normally what is requested. Basically the referee the subject of a major program I managed (difficult to explain without getting specific, but I try to be vague and unidentifiable on the internet where possible!)

#5 PatG

Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:20 PM

I would think that your referees should be those who can best attest to your competency for the job you are applying for.  In addition your current manager as not including them can look a bit funny (as if you have something to hide).  Can you talk to this person and ask if you can include them as a referee?  If it comes to an interview and beyond they are likely to want to actually talk to them as the letter could theoretically be forged.

#6 emlis22

Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:22 PM

I wouldn't send it. They might think you can't even follow instructions. So not a good start.

#7 Steggles

Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:26 PM

I'd send it. More chance of it doing good than harm. If you don't and don't get an interview you would always wonder what if you had!

#8 Academic

Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:35 PM

Thanks everyone! I'm still going back and forth in my head. I am concerned it will be viewed as being unable to follow instructions, although as the CEO of the organisation knows me / has worked with me before (not as my manager, as a partner to the organisation I currently work for), I imagine I may get a little more benefit of the doubt than someone going in completely blind. Similarly, the organisation has also worked with the referee in question, so it would be very easy for them to verify it.

I could include her as a referee on the CV, but it would be difficult for a potential employer to contact her as she lives overseas. Therefore her reference would be a written one anyway.

#9 seayork2002

Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:37 PM

I would send it and if it was me receiving it I would be happy or not bothered, if you were sending 100's of pages that would be annoying but not just one reference.

#10 tle

Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:38 PM

Send it. References are viewed as part of your CV so you don't need to worry about being seen as "not able to follow instructions".

#11 Georgie01

Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:42 PM

QUOTE
Can you talk to this person and ask if you can include them as a referee?


This is what I'd do - I don't know about other fields but in my own area written references supplied by an applicant are ignored because the referee usually only writes positives (who is going to send in a bad one?). I much prefer to contact the referee directly as the response is much more likely to be open.

ETA because OP updated as I was responding:
QUOTE
I could include her as a referee on the CV, but it would be difficult for a potential employer to contact her as she lives overseas. Therefore her reference would be a written one anyway.


I don't see a written reference as a problem - provided it doesn't pass through the applicant's hands. I've given and received many written references but through processes that bypass the applicant.

Edited by Georgie01, 11 December 2012 - 12:45 PM.


#12 Beanbag Warrior

Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:43 PM

i would put them on the CV as a referee with (written reference attached) and include as part of the CV, not as a separate document.

#13 Mpjp is feral

Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:44 PM

I'm in HR and handle recruitment.

It depends on the field. In my current industry - it would get totally and utterly disregarded - lots of reasons - but mainly bc we FAR prefer to speak to someone - written references aren't really valued, for lots of reasons. Although I can see other industries liking the idea.

I would however include that person as a reference name on your CV. We are very interested in who you have listed as this often says a lot as well - espcially if they are high profiel (and well regarded in the field).

Edited by meplainjanebrain, 11 December 2012 - 12:45 PM.


#14 SeaPrincess

Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:46 PM

QUOTE (Georgie01 @ 11/12/2012, 10:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE
Can you talk to this person and ask if you can include them as a referee?

This is what I'd do - I don't know about other fields but in my own area written references supplied by an applicant are ignored because the referee usually only writes positives (who is going to send in a bad one?). I much prefer to contact the referee directly as the response is much more likely to be open.

I agree.  And conversely, if a referee wrote negatives, the applicant wouldn't supply it.
I was involved in the hiring process in my old job and the process was so defined that a reference may not even get read. We did reference checks after interviews.

#15 tle

Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:54 PM

SeaPrincess, you'd be surpised what kind of references people include with applications. I've culled people from the application process not specifically because of what was written but because the applicant can't be that bright if they don't know enough to exclude a written reference that portrays lazy, unpunctual and dishonest.

#16 brazen

Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:09 PM

i wouldn't send it but i would mention it - if there's no cover letter then perhaps in the email. explain you've only just received it therefore were unable to include it on your cv

#17 lozoodle

Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:11 PM

No i would not supply it. No one would hand over a bad written reference so it wont be taken seriously, verbal references are preferred.

#18 froggy1

Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:13 PM

I'd consider adding the reference to your CV as a hyperlink. Ie: click on that referee's name and the reference pops up. but i love hyperlinks  rolleyes.gif

#19 SeaPrincess

Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:04 PM

QUOTE (tle @ 11/12/2012, 10:54 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
SeaPrincess, you'd be surpised what kind of references people include with applications. I've culled people from the application process not specifically because of what was written but because the applicant can't be that bright if they don't know enough to exclude a written reference that portrays lazy, unpunctual and dishonest.

Really!?! They deserve to be culled.

#20 PatG

Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:20 PM

QUOTE (brazen @ 11/12/2012, 01:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
i wouldn't send it but i would mention it - if there's no cover letter then perhaps in the email. explain you've only just received it therefore were unable to include it on your cv



If you have time to write an email, you have time to update your CV.

OP did you mean that it would be hard for you to contact the person overseas to ask about including them as a referee or that it would be hard for the company to contact them?  If you can supply an email address (pref. a work one) then as a PP said the company can contact them bypassing you if they want to.  

I don't think it can hurt to include the written reference but I think it would look funny not to also have them listed among your referees on your CV.

#21 Academic

Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:38 PM

QUOTE (PatG @ 11/12/2012, 02:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OP did you mean that it would be hard for you to contact the person overseas to ask about including them as a referee or that it would be hard for the company to contact them?  If you can supply an email address (pref. a work one) then as a PP said the company can contact them bypassing you if they want to.


I meant it would be difficult for a company to contact her by phone to discuss my reference. Email contact is no problem.

I think I will include her as a referee on my CV, underneath my director so that they are still the number one referee, with a note that her written reference is also attached. I'm leaning towards the idea that including it can't hurt, especially as they already know both me and the referee in question.

Thank you all for your advice, and please cross all your appendages for me!

#22 Queen Yoda

Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:51 PM

I'd include it, unless it was a few pages long.  Just pop it at the end.  One page, no problem.

#23 Tiger Lilly

Posted 11 December 2012 - 08:46 PM

I am in HR and get thoroughly annoyed when people can't read simple instructions. However, I don't mind if people include a written reference.

When I ask for a cover letter and resume and all I get is a resume - then I get annoyed and dont read them!

#24 *Lib*

Posted 11 December 2012 - 09:15 PM

QUOTE (Mexy @ 11/12/2012, 08:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am in HR and get thoroughly annoyed when people can't read simple instructions. However, I don't mind if people include a written reference.

When I ask for a cover letter and resume and all I get is a resume - then I get annoyed and dont read them!

I do the same. If we've asked for a hand written cover letter, and its typed....I don't look at it twice. Shows they can't follow instructions.

#25 LynnyP

Posted 11 December 2012 - 09:22 PM

I don't think it would hurt to include it.  I disregard written references on the whole as they are unreliable.  However I might ask you at interview if I could contact the person if it was a particularly impressive referee.




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