You may feel that it's impossible to get a new job without references, but if you’ve been out of work for several years, or if you're applying for your first job, finding good references can be challenging. If you apply for a job without references, the employer may question your value as an employee. There are, however, ways to get around this. Here are seven easy tips to help you get a new job without references.
1. Use a Teacher or College Professor as a Reference
To get a new job without references, consider using your teacher or college professor as a reference on job applications. Although this person is not an employer, he or she has observed you in the classroom. Therefore, the way you interact with classmates, and how you turn in assignments can indicate how you'll perform as an employee.
2. Use Volunteer Work
Maybe you haven't worked in a while — or ever. But if you’ve volunteered with an organization, or completed an internship, this experience is acceptable when applying for a job. Future employers aren't only interested in paid work. If there’s a supervisor or a coordinator who can vouch for your reliability and abilities on the job, they can act as a suitable job reference.
3. Speak with Your Pastor
Do you belong to a church group? Do you perform voluntary work at your church? If so, your pastor or another individual might be able to provide a professional reference on your behalf. This is useful if you organize events, handle administrative duties for your church, or assist in other areas.
4. Provide a Character Reference
If you're unable to use a teacher or volunteer work, perhaps you can use a character reference instead. This can be any person willing to vouch for your character as a person. Ideally, you shouldn't use a family member, as this person is likely to be biased. However, you might be able to use a neighbor or a friend.
5. Explain Yourself in the Interview
During the interview, explain why you don't have professional references. In most cases, employers only check references after the interview. Be honest. Justifiable reasons include being out of the workplace for many years, thus losing contact with coworkers and other colleagues. Or, you might be applying for your first job ever. Most employers will take your situation into consideration.
6. Use Odd Jobs as a Reference
Have you completed jobs around your neighborhood to earn an extra buck — perhaps lawn care, housekeeping, or babysitting? If so, these clients can act as a professional reference on your behalf.
7. Ace Your Interview
To compensate for no job references, you'll need to ace your job interview. Therefore, dress professional and arrive on time. In addition, prepare killer responses to commonly asked interview questions. Given that the employer may not be able to assess your strength and abilities, you will need to leave a major lasting impression.
A lack of job references does not necessarily ruin your chances of getting hired. Of course, providing two or three references improves your odds. Brainstorm people who might work as a reference, and only use those who you believe will provide the best review of your skills. Have you applied for a job without references? Did you get the job?