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Asking For A Reference... From The Boss?!!

Updated: Jun 13

How do you ask for a reference, from your boss, when you haven't yet told them you are applying for new jobs.

This is a really tricky subject to approach! you know that a new workplace will greatly appreciate a shining reference from your current boss, but perhaps your boss doesn't want you to leave. This is where you really have to gauge your relationship with your boss, and whilst they may be upset at losing a wonderful worker, they do have a professional obligation to give an accurate reference. And you never know, this may prompt your boss to think about your performance and review current working situations that may be the reason of your job search.


So, lets look at a couple email templates you can use in this instance.


Subject: Request for Reference -[your name]

Hi [Boss's Name],

I hope this message finds you well. I wanted to inform you that I've been exploring potential career opportunities outside of our current organization. As I move forward in this process, I'd like to kindly ask if you would be willing to act as a reference for me. Your endorsement would greatly strengthen my candidacy and I truly value your perspective on my work.

Please let me know if you're comfortable with this request, and if so, if there's any specific information or qualities you would like me to highlight to prospective employers. Your support means a lot to me.

Thank you for considering my request.

Best regards,

[Your Name]


This one is straight to the point, no surprises, polite.. lets look at another, just in case that's not quite for you.

For something a little more personal, with a touch of appreciation.


Subject: Request for Job Reference -[your name]

Hi [Boss's Name],

I hope this email finds you well.

I wanted to reach out to you as I embark on a new phase in my career journey. Over the past [time period], I've had the privilege of working under your guidance and leadership, and I've learned so much during my time at [Company Name].


As I explore new job opportunities that align with the next natural step in my career path, I've found myself reflecting on the experiences and knowledge I've gained while working with you and the team. Your mentorship has been invaluable to me, and I am truly grateful for the support and encouragement you've provided.


With that in mind, I was wondering if you would be willing to provide a reference for me as I pursue these new opportunities. Your endorsement would mean a lot to me and would undoubtedly strengthen my applications.

If you're comfortable with it, I could provide you with an updated copy of my resume and any other materials you may need to speak to my qualifications and experiences.

Thank you for considering my request, [Boss's Name].

I appreciate everything you've done for me professionally and personally, and I look forward to staying in touch regardless of where my career takes me.


Warm regards,

[Your Name]


For something a little more professional, breaking the news that you are possibly leaving in a tactful way and expressing your gratitude...


Subject: Request for Professional Reference and Career Update

Dear [Boss's Name],

I hope this message finds you well. Firstly, I want to express my sincere gratitude for the mentorship and support I've received at [Company Name]. Your guidance has been invaluable, and I am truly appreciative of the collaborative environment we've fostered within our team.


With a mixture of excitement and reflection, I wanted to share with you that I am currently exploring new opportunities aligned with the next phase of my career growth. Please know that this decision comes after much contemplation, and it's a testament to the skills and experiences I've gained during my time here.


Given our history of working together and your insights into my professional journey, I am reaching out to request your professional reference as I embark on this new chapter. Your endorsement would mean a great deal to me and would undoubtedly bolster my candidacy as I pursue these new avenues.


Thank you for considering my request. I am happy to provide any additional information needed and remain committed to maintaining open communication throughout this process.


Warm regards,

[Your Name]


Obviously you can tweak these templates, use them as you wish & hopefully you will be met with the reference you need to take you to your next career opportunity.

good luck!




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