You need people to have your back if you want a successful career. At some point, you need a hiring manager or similar individual to look at your resume and give you that first critical job that gets you started on a successful path. You might also look to references that will frame your personality and skill set in the best light.
When applying for a new job, you might not know who to give your potential employer as a reference. We’ll talk about a few likely possibilities right now.
Your potential employer can ask various reference questions, and you need to know the reference you gave them will answer how you want. If you dedicated yourself to your studies in high school or college, you might use a teacher or professor.
If you didn’t go to college, maybe you had a high school teacher with whom you shared a rapport. They can talk about how you did well in math, science, history, English, or anything else pertaining to the job to which you’ve applied. They can also talk about your attendance and punctuality.
If you went to college, it’s even more likely you bonded with a specific professor. They can probably speak eloquently about your dedication to the course material or your class participation.
A college professor can convince a hiring manager or whoever else makes the hiring decisions at this company that you’re good in a group setting or that they can always rely on you to complete an assignment on time. Those skills translate to the professional world, so you should definitely consider any teacher or professor with whom you bonded.
A Former Boss
Maybe you parted from your old job on good terms. Perhaps they got rid of your position because the company had to downsize and not because you didn’t do the job well.
If so, you can use your former boss or a high-ranking coworker as a reference. They used to work with you, so they can speak authoritatively about your professional conduct. They can say you never missed a day and always showed up on time.
They might mention that you got along well with both coworkers and customers. They can even talk about your appearance and hygiene. Of course, you can only use a former boss or coworker as a reference if you have some prior job experience and you’re not starting out in your professional life.
A Childhood Friend
You might use a childhood friend as a reference. If you go this route, you have to make sure you stayed in touch with that person and that you’re on good terms with them. You can’t use someone as a reference who you knew in elementary school but you haven’t seen since then.
If you remained friends with someone for many years, and you’re still in touch with them now, you can call and ask them if you might use them as a reference before you do it. If they say yes, they’ll know to expect a phone call. They will also know to have some answers ready if the hiring manager has some questions about your personality or professional abilities.
Your friend might talk about your loyalty, honesty, and anything else they think can help you get the job. Just make sure and prep them a little bit beforehand. They’re better off not telling someone about your youthful indiscretions or other inappropriate anecdotes.
Someone With Whom You Volunteered
If you did any volunteer work, someone considering hiring you might like that. It shows you care about worthy causes, and money alone does not motivate you. Maybe you worked at a homeless shelter or a soup kitchen.
You can give someone’s name as a reference with whom you volunteered, particularly a paster or some other well-regarded community leader. A hiring manager will always want to hear from someone of that nature. They can talk about how you like to help those less fortunate and give your time to a worthy cause.
If you have not done any volunteer work yet, consider doing some if you’re going to start job hunting soon. It is not a bad idea to create some relationships with individuals who you can use as references when the time comes.
Try to come up with people who know about you at your best. You want them to talk about your positive qualities if you hope to land that job.