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What if I don’t have any references?

You may have people who will be a reference for you that you’re not thinking of.  We tend to think only of past employers, but you may be able to ask other people to be references for you.  References are meant to give the employer more information about whether you would be a match for the job and for the organization.

Professional references should include professional contacts such as employers, supervisors, or Human Resources professionals who have worked with you and who know what a good worker you are.  Professional references speak to the kind of work you do. If you do not have a paid work history, consider volunteer work history or ask your vocational professional.

References may also include personal references, people in your life such as clergy, instructors, or neighbors who will vouch for you based on their personal experience with you. It is especially helpful if your reference is employed in a responsible position and you name the company and position.  For Example:

Mr. Robert Haywood, Owner/ Instructor, Soo Bahk Do Karate Academy, 200 Bay Road, Brooklyn, N.Y.   555-555-5555  (instructor 5 years).

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