Recently in a presentation about networking the presenter mentioned that it is important to maintain a good relationship with your past academic supervisors and collaborates (teammates) because employers (industry employer, not academic employers) will go contact these people to gain information about you, especially you are a recent grad with net zero industry experience.

Is this a common practice? Does anyone know if employers will actually go out of their way to contact your supervisors even your teammates?

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    I've never run into the back-checking myself, but I've gotten several jobs/contracts (thinking back, more than I ever got through on-line job boards or professional recruiters) because the employer mentioned to a faculty member that they were looking for a person to do X, and they suggested talking to me as someone they thought could do it. So potential employers do contact their former professors &c to do recruiting.
    – jamesqf
    Feb 12, 2015 at 23:45

2 Answers 2


In general, your supervisor will more likely be contacted if your graduate fellowship is listed as employment experience. Background checkers will likely interpret your supervisor as a "boss" and contact them accordingly, not to tease out the minutia of your research but to ensure such qualities as dependability, integrity, and punctuality.


How deeply they check you out entirely depends on what industry you are going into and what company. If you're going to be a coding slave at Oracle, they probably don't give a damn. If you're interviewing where I work, however, we'll most certainly check you out...

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