View Full Version : 2 of 3 References, your input.

November 23rd, 2011, 12:45
As per thread title, I will have three references; one from my university advisor/professor (known 4 years), one from a retired Lt. Col (known 11 years) from JROTC in high school, and a part-time boss reference (known 4 years). However, my third reference (from work) will not arrive in my mail until Monday.

The question then is, would a part-time work reference or a military officer character reference be more desirable to include as the second reference?
(Edit: Question raised as the deadline is soon approaching.)

Thanks for your time,

November 23rd, 2011, 13:41
Don't use your JROTC instructor. I was in NJROTC and I know that he wouldn't be able to speak about your academic character in college because he isn't your professor or he wouldn't be able to speak for your work ethic because you've never worked for him. It would be a personal reference and they do not want personal references.

Stick with the 1 academic and 1 work reference.

November 23rd, 2011, 15:34
If the guy knows you well, why not? My NJROTC instructor knew me quite well enough to write a decent reference. But if you want to play it safe, deal with the work one. You can always ship overnight if need be.

November 23rd, 2011, 22:57
My debate continues as the brevity of the deadline looms and my JROTC instructor was also actively involved with me during my Drill Team and Color Guard leadership, my staff position, and more. I may delay and compare my work reference when it arrives, but as of now, I am still on the fence.

If anyone else has input, please sound off.

November 23rd, 2011, 23:08
High school activities are not relevant to the position and the application does state this. I had plenty teachers that could have written me references in High School, I could have also used my NJROTC teacher too since I had leadership positionas as well on Rifle and 50 Flag Guard, some amazing ones too, but I avoided them because they could not speak for what I did in college or professionally "now".

You can go ahead and use them but I highly suggest not to. They are not relevant to the position. Not only that, they may question why you used a High School reference rather than a current reference.

This is a job, you wouldn't go to any job and use your JROTC instructor as a reference, so why do it for this job application? Just ask yourself these questions.

What type of references do I need? A professional reference.
Who am I getting this reference from? JROTC teacher from High School.
How long did I know this person? 11 years.
What can this person speak about me: I had leadership positions in JROTC in High School
What else can this person speak about me? I'm a nice kid with leadership skills.
Any work related, professional, qualities? Not really
Would it come off as a personal reference? Probably
Perhaps another academic reference? Perhaps.

If this guy write this letter on the high school letterhead, they are most definitely going to definitely going to ask why you got another academic reference from a high school teacher. There's nothing professional about that JROTC reference. What you were then can not speak for what you are now and that's why the application want's you to avoid using anything before High School graduation unless its highly relevant (and JROTC is not relevant at all).

tl;dr: Your JROTC reference is a personal reference because he was your instructor in HS and you never worked for him in a professional setting. The reference requirements require an academic reference from your current school or a professional reference from someone you worked/volunteered with post HS graduation. He does not qualify in either category.

The JET Program application is all about following rules.

November 24th, 2011, 04:40
I'd say go with your boss if you think he can write a decent letter. 4 years is a long enough time to say something about you. But if you can't get the letter in time... obviously go with what you've got to meet the deadline. That is more important.

I ended up using two academic references because my boss wrote a really impersonal reference recycled from last year that also got a few things wrong about the job and didn't mention JET at all. I didn't make it in last year (not that I think his reference letter was the cause... but it couldn't have helped) so I decided to go with fresh references. One was from undergraduate and one from graduate school... and the graduate reference mentioned the class I teach, and she seemed really impressed with how I've handled it and how far I've come since starting the program. Hopefully that will be enough. You go with who will write the best letter that will speak the most to your qualifications. I didn't think a crappy letter from a restaurant manager would say more than a great letter from a graduate professor, so I took a chance.