I a company couple of months ago due to lay-off. Before I left I asked my manager if he could provide me a reference and he told me it was against company policy. I went to HR to confirm and they told me the same thing with no explanation why.

I have a background check I'm going through and being asked for references from previous employer.

  • Email people from your previous companies and ask if you can use them as a reference. If they say yes, list them as references and provide their contact info to your new employer. Nov 29, 2017 at 17:42
  • 2
    Either a manager or coworker is willing to be a reference, or they aren't. If you can't find any decent reference, there isn't really a way to get around this. Nov 29, 2017 at 18:26

2 Answers 2


Well, if your previous employer (and it's company) have a policy about not giving references then I doubt there is much you can do to make them give you one. Usually, companies tend to stick to their policies firmly.

Another thing you could do is to obtain a reference from previous coworkers (in this last or past jobs). Just make sure they are able and willing to do so, and that there is no company policy or rule that would put them in trouble.

Yet, you could also show that company policy to Background Check, so they can see this limitation and back up your claim about not being able (at least not so easily) to provide such reference.

They can then decide what to do in this case, which could be to ask for other sorts of references or them to reach your previous employer by their own means (for which they probably would be denied such reference again).

  • The company uses a third-party reference and background service. I was thrown off because the company I applied for NEVER asked for references and made me an offer so I assumed they didn't need them (hint why I didn't bring it up during interview)
    – Noah
    Nov 29, 2017 at 18:16

What are ways of getting references from previous employer?

Your best bet is to reach out to people you worked with and for and see if they would be willing to provide such a reference versus going to HR. Hopefully over your time with a company you will have built some personal relationships that will make the individual more inclined to assist you.

A quick phone call would be best, but an email making the request would probably do the trick too. As part of your request, extend the offer to do the same for them, because at some point we all will need references.

I would also suggest you ask a few people you worked for or with for a reference on linked in.

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