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Thread: 2014 JET - Letter of Reference

  1. #1

    Default 2014 JET - Letter of Reference

    I wanted to know if there is anyone specific who has to write the letter of reference for the application. I'm out of school so I don't really have lecturers to ask. My boss is willing to write one for me but I'm not sure who to get the other one from.

    Can I ask one of my friends who has known me for over 10 years?????????????

    I was thinking about asking one of my Japanese teachers but they have only known me for a couple months. Is there a specific length of time that the referee must know me or a specific qualification they must have?

    I'm not sure what to do or who to ask.

    Thank you in advance for all your assistance.

  2. #2
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2014 JET - Letter of Reference

    Well your boss is a good start. I would recommend contacting your consulate and asking for their suggestion.

    I believe that your friend of 10 years would be a bad choice, as they are unable to provide an honest evaluation of you as a worker (either academic or professional). Ideally whoever it is who provides the reference should be able to speak to your abilities and character in a working situation, so think a bit more on the topic.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: 2014 JET - Letter of Reference

    My embassy has a don't call us we'll call you policy.

  4. #4

    Default Re: 2014 JET - Letter of Reference

    Sometimes an 'official' can be used. For example, I know a police officer who has written a reference or 2 for me in the past.

  5. #5

    Default Re: 2014 JET - Letter of Reference

    Quote Originally Posted by ckhushrenada View Post
    My embassy has a don't call us we'll call you policy.
    Eek, that's rough.
    You should really get a professional person to do it. So Managers, senior coworkers, a doctor, old teachers; people that you aren't related to or are friends with.
    referees should be able to evaluate your personality in a professional environment.

  6. #6
    Sociopathic Scroogemcduck MJN's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2014 JET - Letter of Reference

    Your boss is a definite yes, but a no to the friend. The Japanese teacher of only a few months better candidate than a friend of 10 years.

    Your next best bet would be a supervisor or something in an elevated position at your current work, if such a position exists. How long have you been out of School/University? It's not uncommon for lecturers to be asked for a letter of reference as much as a decade after they've left, from what I've heard.
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  7. #7
    Comrade therealwindycity's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2014 JET - Letter of Reference

    Has it been a really long time since you graduated? It would be good to get a reference from a professor or academic adviser

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  8. #8

    Default Re: 2014 JET - Letter of Reference

    Friends and relatives are a no-no for pretty much all job references. You might know that your friend is a completely fair, objective judge of character, but your employer doesn't know that (also it's pretty hard to write an entirely neutral letter for a good friend, and you might be biased without realising it). Not to mention, your friend probably can't talk about what you're like as an employee/co-worker, which is what JET want to know.If a reference says, "Oh, ckhushrenada is really honest, friendly and generous", JET will be thinking, "That's good to know, but can he/she show up to work on time everyday, complete a project, and/or project a professional demeanour? How do they get on with colleagues? What are they like with deadlines? What professional experience do they have?"

    I would say ask your Japanese teachers. A few months isn't a great length of time, but it's long enough to know the basics about someone- and unless there's something really weird in the reference letter, JET aren't going to be phoning them and drilling them for all the nitty gritty details like when and where you met. So long as your reference explains their relationship to you (i.e. "as ckhushrenada's Japanese teacher, I can say that he/she is...", it should be fine.
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  9. #9
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2014 JET - Letter of Reference

    I have one thing to say against Japanese teachers,

    more often than not they don't really know anything about you, other than how well you did in their class. They seldom have the ability to really speak to your character, or your ability to adapt to situations, just how well you learned a language.

    While an interesting point, it doesn't say much about you. All it's saying is "I took Japanese class", which isn't that important for the application.
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  10. #10
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default 2014 JET - Letter of Reference

    I got my references written by family friends and I was ok. That was 10 years ago so maybe things have changed........If you are going that route make sure those people have some clout that'll impress. The Japanese care about status so if the letterhead is good enough it won't matter what the relationship is.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: 2014 JET - Letter of Reference

    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    The Japanese care about status so if the letterhead is good enough it won't matter what the relationship is.
    That;s a very broad statement. Also, if this is right, what if the person who reads your application and decides whether to put you through to interviews or not isn't Japanese?
    ES and JHS ALT

  12. #12

    Default Re: 2014 JET - Letter of Reference

    Quote Originally Posted by chikorita View Post
    That;s a very broad statement. Also, if this is right, what if the person who reads your application and decides whether to put you through to interviews or not isn't Japanese?
    One of your interviewers probably will be. They will have the letters, or copies of them, there. Your schools probably see them as well when they decide whether or not to take you.
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  13. #13
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2014 JET - Letter of Reference

    Quote Originally Posted by chikorita View Post
    That;s a very broad statement. Also, if this is right, what if the person who reads your application and decides whether to put you through to interviews or not isn't Japanese?
    Ini, as usual, speaks the truth. An impressive title and letterhead can go a hell of a long way for a Japanese screener--certainly a lot farther than the contents of a letter, because generally all the letters say exactly the same thing. "chikorita is a fantastic candidate, a natural leader, and a perfect fit for JET blah blah blah etc."

    The year that I applied (and this may have changed), the online instructions actually mentioned specifically that your letters of recommendation could be in Japanese, but that it wasn't required and would not give an advantage either way.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: 2014 JET - Letter of Reference

    So in a nutshell: you can't get your friend down the street to write your reference for you UNLESS they have some kind of standing. There's no rule that they have to write what kind of relationship they have with you (i.e. "friend", they can just go with a general "I've known xxx for 10 years and ..."). If it's a company director that you happen to play video games with every weekend that's fine, just don't have to mention the video game part. I think it's universally accepted that references based on friendship are not acceptable for work applications--it needs to be someone with some kind of work or social standing that can comment on your abilities. That's not to say that they have to be a work or school mate, they just shouldn't mention the relationship, imo, just focus on why you're good for JET. Just use common sense!
    Last edited by Page; October 10th, 2013 at 13:49.
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  15. #15

    Default Re: 2014 JET - Letter of Reference

    I think it's still pretty poor if the referee can't say in what context they are familiar with the referent (did I get those words right?). I mean my mother is a Principal back home and has a different surname from me but I still wouldn't ask her to be write me a reference because there would be no honest way in which she could say she was linked to me professionally. If I were reading that reference I would assume it was a friend of the family who just happened to have a good job, and it would seem pretty shaky. Perhaps if you honestly have no alternative but getting one from a teacher and a previous employer would be better if that option is available.

  16. #16

    Default 2014 JET - Letter of Reference

    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotech View Post
    I have one thing to say against Japanese teachers,

    more often than not they don't really know anything about you, other than how well you did in their class. They seldom have the ability to really speak to your character, or your ability to adapt to situations, just how well you learned a language.

    While an interesting point, it doesn't say much about you. All it's saying is "I took Japanese class", which isn't that important for the application.
    I had two professors from my Japanese language department as references. To be fair I took several classes with both and they were pretty high up in the foreign language department. Plus one of the interviewers I think actually knew one of them, but that's beside the point.

    I think it's a good idea if possible because one thing I think interviewers are looking for is people who have a genuine interest in Japan and Japanese culture. If your professor says something like "so and so showed great enthusiasm for Japanese" that would probably look favorable to JET officials. Plus doing well in a class would still show you have some degree of work ethic.
    Last edited by CannedCoffee; October 11th, 2013 at 15:03.

  17. #17
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2014 JET - Letter of Reference

    Quote Originally Posted by CannedCoffee View Post
    I had two professors from my Japanese language department as references. To be fair I took several classes with both and they were pretty high up in the foreign language department. Plus one of the interviewers I think actually knew one of them, but that's beside the point.

    I think it's a good idea if possible because one thing I think interviewers are looking for is people who have a genuine interest in Japan and Japanese culture. If your professor says something like "so and so showed great enthusiasm for Japanese" that would probably look favorable to JET officials. Plus doing well in a class would still show you have some degree of work ethic.
    Ahh, the knowing thing probably helps :P I don't disagree with what you've written, except one point:

    doing well in a class == demonstration of work ability. I've done well in classes before where I have done almost no work. I have done poorly in classes where I did great work, just not what the teacher in particular wanted (or the rest of the class were those 100% super keeners so someone had to bring up the rear :P)

    Remember, we're not showing a great interested in Japanese, were showing an interest in japan :P I suspect that is better showed in your SoP than in your letters of recommendation.
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    Organising anything with ALTs is like herding cats on catnip

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    We Jeeperneez are express all emotion through money. Wedding is happy money. Funeral is sad money. Izakaya is friendship money. Girl-bar is almost-sex money. But babby-borning is bery happy money, as no babby in Japan. All babby is special so we is givings much money as presento for babby.

  18. #18

    Default Re: 2014 JET - Letter of Reference

    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post
    Ini, as usual, speaks the truth. An impressive title and letterhead can go a hell of a long way for a Japanese screener--certainly a lot farther than the contents of a letter, because generally all the letters say exactly the same thing. "chikorita is a fantastic candidate, a natural leader, and a perfect fit for JET blah blah blah etc."

    The year that I applied (and this may have changed), the online instructions actually mentioned specifically that your letters of recommendation could be in Japanese, but that it wasn't required and would not give an advantage either way.
    I don't want to sidetrack this topic but is a letterhead that important? I got a couple of good references written up from my last employers (at HM Revenue and Customs) but policy there means it cannot be on headed paper. Should I be worried about that?

  19. #19

    Default Re: 2014 JET - Letter of Reference

    Quote Originally Posted by Tzvi View Post
    I don't want to sidetrack this topic but is a letterhead that important? I got a couple of good references written up from my last employers (at HM Revenue and Customs) but policy there means it cannot be on headed paper. Should I be worried about that?
    I think it states in the reference section that if it can't be written on a letterhead, the reference must state why I can't.

  20. #20

    Default Re: 2014 JET - Letter of Reference

    Quote Originally Posted by PaddyPakku View Post
    I think it states in the reference section that if it can't be written on a letterhead, the reference must state why I can't.
    I got them to state that in the references (I doubt not reading the instructions properly would have helped my chances either). My question was more about whether not having the headers even when that was taken into account would be a hindrance.

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