[thechat] tracking down an old employer?

David Wagner medialyte at gmail.com
Thu Dec 8 21:23:02 CST 2005

Hi Sean --

> The request is specifically for "a reference, not related to you," which to
> me means a person.  What are the odds a pay stub or tax form will do?  That
> would confirm my employment, though not my job title or responsibilities.

I've had to do this a few times, but I was lucky in that I maintained
a friendship with one of my co-worker/supervisors. I always explained,
when giving the reference information to an employer, that he no
longer works for the company and that he's a personal friend as well
as a colleague. Sounds like that won't work in your case, though.

I also recently had a view from the other side, helping to hire a
bunch of people (though at a University-based non-profit, not a large
corporation). What I can tell you about my experience there is that
the more information I could get, the better, but I wouldn't expect
more than a "yup, s/he worked here". So if all you can provide is
proof of employment, they'll probably take it. And they've probably
dealt with this situation before -- my experience with HR folks is
that they're often really helpful, and will tell you things like "no,
you really shouldn't show us your pay stubs" if that's the case.

Good luck!


David Wagner
medialyte at gmail.com

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