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Old 20.10.2012, 23:17
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Coding of Reference Letter

Hi all,
Are there any experts or amateurs on coding? I received an interim letter recently, but am not certain it's free of codes. For example: "...accepts diverging views and criticism. She conveys her ideas and decisions in a convincing way and openly speaks her mind in a constructive and respectful manner..."

Does anyone like people that openly speak their mind?

I will accept your diverging views
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Old 21.10.2012, 00:10
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Re: Coding of Reference Letter

Related thread on the Zeugnis:

http://www.englishforum.ch/employmen...-q-thread.html
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Old 21.10.2012, 00:19
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Re: Coding of Reference Letter

I don't put much value on such reference letters. To me, it's like asking an ex gf about your past relationship. "Yeah, he kept leaving his socks in the hallway...and he never put out the trash, I always had to do it. What a prick! "
A good HR should know if you're the right person from a face to face interview and comparing it with the resume.
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Old 21.10.2012, 00:30
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Re: Coding of Reference Letter

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I don't put much value on such reference letters. To me, it's like asking an ex gf about your past relationship. "Yeah, he kept leaving his socks in the hallway...and he never put out the trash, I always had to do it. What a prick! "
A good HR should know if you're the right person from a face to face interview and comparing it with the resume.
They can save themselves the bother of interviewing you if they're handed a reference describing you as a prick.
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Old 21.10.2012, 00:37
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Re: Coding of Reference Letter

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They can save themselves the bother of interviewing you if they're handed a reference describing you as a prick.
Why yes, but any company who would openly label a former employee as a prick should not be taken too serious IMO.
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Old 21.10.2012, 09:09
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Re: Coding of Reference Letter

This is a serious issue for one's career. When you send your documents to a prospective employer, often these references will determine whether you get asked in for an interview. Also if you have a 'hole' (i.e., a year with not reference letter), this sets off an alarm. The coding is often not understood by the employee and even less so for foreigner. It is not fair because one individual boss can basically ruin your entire future career. Here are so common codings:
- The person made an 'effort'. Translation employee tried but never achieved anything. Basically its important to have words which show that you accomplished something (i.e., 'Durchsetzungsvermögen').
- The person has good communication with colleagues. Translation person was a talker or a gossiper.
- We were 'satisfied' with Mr. .. Translation only okay. (needs to read very satisfied to be good).
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Old 21.10.2012, 11:31
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Re: Coding of Reference Letter

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This is a serious issue for one's career. When you send your documents to a prospective employer, often these references will determine whether you get asked in for an interview.
The days that you send in a physical folder with all your documents are gone since the 90s. You send a cover letter and a cv. These two documents will decide if you get an interview or not. Only after the first interview will HR typically ask for the entire set and maybe call up some references. So no reference letter in the world can stop you from getting that interview.
These documents used to be a big deal, but really are not anymore. I have read in every single job newsletter/website about the codes, but never actually seen them in practice. And I have seen some hundreds of applications over the years in CH. It really is a thing of the past as companies by now have changed their attitude towards them: Nowadays would a coded reference be considered worse for the image of the ex employer than the candidate. If I'd see one would I also think that this company using unethical tools is not a place I'd want to work at. So I'd easily believe an applicant that he wanted to leave them...

People who hire employees are usually not complete idiots and have seen some corporate shit hit the fan before. A single ex boss could never ruin it for an applicant for me... if however a guy has two or three not-so-great references would I ask him to explain them.
All the stuff on "if you ever got fired are you considered a risk" is really some outdated info - you will have a hard time finding an experienced employee who has worked the last ten years without seeing some "reorganisations" and "rightsizing"... in turn did HR folks get less sensitive on those things.
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Old 21.10.2012, 12:46
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Re: Coding of Reference Letter

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The days that you send in a physical folder with all your documents are gone since the 90s. You send a cover letter and a cv. These two documents will decide if you get an interview or not. Only after the first interview will HR typically ask for the entire set and maybe call up some references. So no reference letter in the world can stop you from getting that.
Not really true, I'm afraid. I've applied for a few jobs in the last 7 years, and many of them asked for the supporting documents such as reference letters as part of the initial request (alongside cv).

That said, I do a fair bit of interviewing from the hiring side, and I can't say I do more than glance at the reference letters. The CV interests me much more, and the first 5-10 minutes of an interview most of all.
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Old 21.10.2012, 12:54
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Re: Coding of Reference Letter

I've just seen mine. Is it good?

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To whom it may concern, Adrian London worked for us for the last two years. I'd like to refine and expand on that last point. By "worked" he turned up at some point during the day and left at some point later, most days. If you need something found on the internet, he is your guy. He is a great team player, always sitting there grinning and bringing smiles to the rest of the team. If, like us, your administrator orders too much coffee or stationery supplies then rest assured that Adrian London will do his best to bring supplies down to a more managable level. I was very satisfied with his last piece of communication, which was his resignation letter. Good luck.
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Old 21.10.2012, 13:01
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Re: Coding of Reference Letter

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I've just seen mine. Is it good?
From a content perspective yes, but I think it needs more formal business lingo.

I'd close with "The gap he leaves behind will replace him to our fullest satisfaction".
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Old 21.10.2012, 15:08
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Re: Coding of Reference Letter

If your future employer is ready to hiree you on the basis of a reference leeter then is it really worth the effort...

" And if all the reference leters are so-say "coded (takes 2 to undserstand code by the way...) well maybe the location of the problem changes.
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Old 21.10.2012, 15:29
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Re: Coding of Reference Letter

I used to work in a recruitment agency and remember one instance of coming across a less than satisfactory reference, so I called this lady to ask her to explain. She was a bitter old woman "so Jane, a job with a computer? Well I really couldn't recommend her for that, it's not really her kind of thing" etc... My boss overheard the telephone conversation and asked me to put it on speakerphone so we all listened to her bad mouth this girl. The saddest part was this old employer actually thought she had the power to define her future.
I suggest if asked about your past job or employer, tell it how it was. There are professional ways to tell the truth and then there's silly coding....
I wouldn't worry if I were you.
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Old 21.10.2012, 22:13
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Re: Coding of Reference Letter

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Nowadays would a coded reference be considered worse for the image of the ex employer than the candidate.
Its the uncoded letters you need to take care of too. I recently had to save a former colleague from being kicked out of a search due to a less than perfect final reference. He was a foreigner a didn't realise the wording, especially the final phase "to our fullest satisfaction" or whatever was still key. I would always recommend someone who plans to look for another CH job to get a friendly third party to review a certificate and challenge it if less than perfect. Better safe than sorry.
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