I worked as a software engineer for around 2 years and served my last around 6 months back. Due to my interest in writing, I later took up an offer as a Writer in a small-sized firm. However, within 2 weeks of joining, another opportunity came along from a good firm into an Editor role. Since I was convinced that the firm and role was the best that could come along, I left my 2-week old job and joined this new firm.

The story didn't end there. After 2 months into this job, my performance as an editor wasn't found to be satisfactory and as a result was let go off. I was now sure that writing and editing were poles apart and probably Writing alone was my forte.

With luck by my side, I happened to receive an offer with another firm which happened to be a partner company to a big branded s/w organization. Apparently, I was offered a good package and really didn't care about the start-up nature of this partner firm. Now again, two weeks into this job I have received an offer from a top-notch firm, which is almost like a dream job for any professional with similar skills.

I am now confused whether I should pursue this opportunity. I have so far maintained my resume at just the 2 year experience I have in s/w engg. In spite of this, I have been receiving offers. Another matter of concern is that I have included references of my managers(from the 2-year old organization) in these previous positions and now I am in a dilemma whether I should be re-using these references for this new role, if I am to indeed pursue this opportunity. Should I rather refuse using any references from my previous organization where I served my longest tenure.

Is there any etiquette for citing references for a new job, considering that they have been used for previous employments as well?

  • Can you please edit the title to include your actual question? That may help people a) actually read the question; and b) give you an answer that works.
    – user22432
    Commented Jul 19, 2014 at 18:21
  • I was too confused to put up a title that justifies my situation. I hope this title edit does justice to my situation. Commented Jul 19, 2014 at 18:30
  • That's much better - that will help get you more answers to consider.
    – user22432
    Commented Jul 19, 2014 at 18:30

2 Answers 2


I'm seeing two questions:

  • should you take this new (latest) opportunity
  • should you use your long-tenure references for this new role

It looks like you took a job after your editing gig didn't work out, and you thought this role might be a good one. But you also state:

Apparently, I was offered a good package and really didn't care about the start-up nature of this partner firm.

With that in mind, and with the many job changes in your recent history: Is the new role that much better? Really? Are you sure? Don't worry about "it's a dream role for any professional with similar skills", is it a dream role -=for you at this particular moment in your life=-. If you're absolutely positive that it's far far better than your current role, take it - and plan to stay there for a while, even if you get offered an ambassadorial post to the Bahamas. A few job changes in a relatively short period of time can be explained if they include things that are outside of your control, like a wave of layoffs or a short term role or the company going out of business (or you not really having the editorial chops.) Too many changes in less than a year, though, starts to look bad - regardless of the reason.

You're moving around an awful lot in a fairly short period of time, about half of which seem to be for "the grass looks greener over there" reasons. Pick either your current role or this new role, and plan to stay in place for at least two years while you learn more, build your network, and more proactively plan what you want to do next. Move on again only when you know exactly what you want to do.

Should you use the references from the job where you served the longest tenure? I would use the references from your most recent long stint (after doublechecking with them to see if they'll still give you a reference, of course) and, if asked, give the name of the company who hired you as an editor and let you go after two months because it just wasn't working out. Using references does not have to be from your most recent job, though if you've had a longer-term recent job, it can sometimes be helpful. Even if you've used references for previous jobs, you can re-use them again (provided they give you the okay, of course.)

  • Thanks Leigh! I appreciate your opinion. I continue to worry whether I should be citing the details of this short stint of 2 months I had. And no, my previous job-change was spurred by my interest for a change of role. Commented Jul 19, 2014 at 18:33
  • The two-month stint was the editorial position where you found that you're really more of a writer than an editor, correct? While it can depend, and while you may want to drop it from your resume after several years, I would be more interested in not displaying the short writing stint (that you left for editing) and the short stint at the start-up-like partner company. They're easiest to cull, as well, since they're the shortest; they won't leave a huge gap in your resume that's difficult to explain later on.
    – user22432
    Commented Jul 19, 2014 at 18:36
  • Yeah, I think I agree with you. For now, though, all that remains in my resume is a long 6-month gap. Maybe I could back it up with my genuine justification for the editing gig. Commented Jul 19, 2014 at 18:41
  • Isn't that six-month gap broken up by the two-month stint as an editor? Or am I misreading the series of events you laid out? (Sorry, not trying to harass you; but if one person had problems understanding the sequence of events, others might too.)
    – user22432
    Commented Jul 19, 2014 at 18:50

References should never be used without obtaining permission in advance. You don't need to ask every time, but you do need to ask. Asking your prospective references "I'm considering a new career search, is it alright if I put you down as a reference when needed?" will cover it. Any who would be of value if called by a potential employer will easily agree.

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