Who can I use as a reference for my first job? It is a common question that crosses the mind of many job seekers. However, at one particular point in time, everyone who is gainfully employed today has passed through the stage of ‘first job application.’
Apparently, it won’t be straightforward to get professional references that will match the job you are applying for. However, that does not mean you should neglect the spot of references because your potential employer will require that you provide references.
An applicant just freshly coming out of school without any experience will even be more complicated. However, for an applicant who has done many part-time jobs and has engaged in a series of professional relationships, it will be a little easier to develop relevant references on his resume.
Before knowing the answer of who can I use as a reference for my first job? You should know about the importance of references.
Do You Need References For Securing a Job?
The first thing you must understand is that there is nothing wrong with you or your chances of securing your first job. Yes! You have a good grade, a well-arranged resume, a well-tailored LinkedIn profile, a perfect cover letter that fits in for every job application you intend to apply for.
You might have to ask yourself why you need references. You must understand that you really don’t have lots of experience and have not professionally worked in any company or affiliated institution. It is expected that the employer might need someone or some set of people to vouch for you and testify your confidence, smartness, and whatever you have claimed in your resume and cover letter.
Depending on the company you seek to embark on your first job, some may require professional references that may or may not be related to the profession you are applying for.
Whereas others will only be concerned with someone who has good knowledge about you and will be willing to give unbiased information about what you claim you are and is capable of doing as regards your resume and cover letter that you’ve submitted.
You need to understand that you must be sure that good testimony about you should be coming from your list of references, in case your employer tries to contact them to seek personal information as regards you.
However, it is up to you to pick the right set of people and have pre-informed them about your decision to list them as part of your references just if your employer decides to contact them.
Who Can I Use as a Reference for My First Job?
Below are examples of references you can add to your resume:
Your Preferred Professor
To thousands of fresh graduates seeking their first job, the first person who comes to their mind to top their list of references is their most preferred professor while in school. Unfortunately, most university professors do not always turn down the offer of being listed as part of references, especially when the request comes from a student they have a good knowledge of.
However, it will be a great advantage if you’ve worked closely with your professor, maybe he/she supervised your thesis, or you have the opportunity to create a personal academic relationship with your professor. It might also be the professor you have always performed excellently in his/her course(s). It will be a great deal to include such a person in your resume. However, it would help if you were hasty to this when their perspective about you is still fresh, and they are willing to make a reliable and outstanding comment about you.
People or Places You Have Volunteered to Work
To a large extent, employers always have a soft spot for an applicant seeking a first job who has been a volunteer worker.
Have you volunteered to work in a company, firm, public, or private institution in the past?
Here is the right time to make the best use of your direct boss. Remember, you must have displayed an excellent charisma and work ethic at the place before you can have the confidence to contact your direct boss to be listed on your reference.
This will be a great deal to your chances of employment because it will be a testament to your capabilities outside the academic environment. It will also give your employer knowledge of your ability to contribute to the development of the company.
Your Social or Religious Leader
Do you belong or once belonged to any social or religious group such as Boy Scout, community development group, church choir, etc.?
This is the right time to contact your group leader. You must have maintained a specific relationship with the leader or organizer of the group, which would have given him/her a good knowledge about your morals, ethics, and capabilities outside the circular work environment, making a reasonable reference about you.
Your resume for your first job will require every necessary and relevant reference it needs. Of course, your group leader or your organizer must be able to make good references and be a testament to your tenacity. However, it would help if you fed him/her in on your prospect and your willingness to list him/her as your reference.
Member of a Team You Once Led
A group member you have once led or take charge of could be a great deal of help when listing your reference. Members who have once been under your leadership will be willing to attest to your leadership skill and organizational prowess. You must be aware that the person you are listing in your reference does not necessarily have to be older than you.
You can use them in your reference list as long as they possess leadership qualities and holds a professional position. Always state your experience with that person, including achievements during your role as the group leader. The expectation is for the person’s reference to be relevant and acceptable, also for them to be able to make a good perception about you.