Last week I was laid off from my first job. Once the shock was over, I started updating and polishing my resume. While I was having a look at my Linkedin contacts I found out that one of my University teachers and a relative on my mother's side are working at a very prestigious bank near home. Considering that my mother talks often with this relative, she mentioned my situation, and he sent my updated CV to the HR office, in order to apply for a junior position. However, I still want to contact my former Uni teacher. The problem is that his position makes me think he may be my colleague or even my boss, and I fear that any kind of contact from my part may put him under a conflict of interests. So far, my options are:

  1. inform him that I applied for a position at his workplace ("so what?", I think he would say)
  2. ask him for information regarding the position I applied to
  3. ask him for information regarding the workplace culture, salary and benefits
  4. ask him for a reference (if needed)
  5. ask him to "help" me with my application
  6. don't send an email at all

Some people told me that 1 and 5 are the best thing I can do, but it doesn't sound ok to me. I don't want to put this contact under a difficult situation, and as this is the first time I face a situation like this I don't know what to do.

  • 4
    How would sending a resume to an employee you know put them at a conflict of interest or in a difficult situation?
    – paparazzo
    Apr 29, 2015 at 16:47
  • As I said, his job description in his Linkedin profile is very similar to the one I'm applying to. Interviews sometimes include the team leader and a senior team member, and he could be in any of those positions. Apr 29, 2015 at 19:33
  • 1
    So just how would sending him your resume put him at a conflict of interest or in a difficult situation? Really so HR asks him to interview you and he has to say sorry I can't I know this candidate and he already sent me his resume?
    – paparazzo
    Apr 29, 2015 at 20:07

1 Answer 1


@Blam is completely right. There is nothing wrong with sending an email like:

Doctor Smith.

I recently applied for a job at Company Name and was hoping that you remembered me from school. Insert any specifics you thing would help remind him who you are here. I am inquiring if you would be willing to give me a reference to the hiring manager, hiring managers name if known for Job posting ID.

Be prepared for the possibility that although you remember this person as one of your favorite professors; there's no guarantee that they'd remember you out of the much larger pool of students they've taught.

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