The application form for the job I'm applying for requires the email address of my previous supervisor. My previous supervisor, however, has given me only his LinkedIn address instead of his new email address. He has yet to reply to my text asking him for his email address, and the application deadline is fast approaching. Will his LinkedIn address be enough?

4 Answers 4


The application or background check form may ask for address, email, and phone number. You can only provide what you have. Sometimes the information may be outdated because they moved to another company or they retired.

Provide what you have, and then let them come back to you if they can't use what you gave them. Yes this back and forth can slow down the process, but waiting for somebody to respond will also slow down the process.

In my case I know that everybody scattered after one project came to an end so when somebody wanted a way to contact my old supervisor, I was only able to give them the corporate phone number. Later I gave them their full name to reach them via LinkedIn because I had no other way to contact them.


Exception cases like this happen all the time.

As long as you fill out the form to the best of your ability and are not trying to be deceptive, odds are they are not going to care or even notice for the initial hiring process steps.

If they make a fuss about your situation I would be curious how they would handle someone having a former employer that has gone out of business, and thus no one to contact. Any hiring process needs to be able to handle scenarios like yours and those that are more extreme. If they cannot, then they are not a company worth working for since they likely have other rigid poorly thought out processes that would make working there unpleasant.


Hopefully! Obviously we cannot say for sure how strict this new company is on stuff like this, but if they look at your application and see that you gave them a way to contact him, I would think that would suffice. That being said, why not reach out to the new company to ask them about it?


This has happened to me. After completing my master's I was looking for a job. The interviewers asked me for reference(s) of my supervisor(s) from my previous company. The company I used to work for before I started master's was in a different country and most of my colleagues left around the same time I did. I explained the situation to the hiring managers and asked if I could provide the LinkedIn of my supervisors. Most of the hiring managers did not make a fuss about it and happily accepted any way I could provide for them to get in touch with my supervisors. Some others were adamant that they need something more concrete. The ones who were adamant realised that there was no way I could provide anything other than the LinkedIn and then things were smoother after that.

I also asked the personnel department (HR) of my previous company if they are willing to write me a recommendation. They agreed and wrote me a recommendation letter on the company letterhead. It was signed by someone who was higher up the hierarchy (the country manager or some sorts) than my direct supervisor. The number of interviewers asking for references decreased after that because I would send this recommendation letter along with my CV. Mind you, some were still adamant that they need a reference of my direct supervisor. Luckily, in my case, the country manager of my previous company was still there long after I left the company.

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