Who Can I Use as a Reference for My First Job – Handyman tips


Getting a reference is like getting a quick advertisement campaign on your skills and experience. Referencing is as old as the hills. Sometimes, it will get you jobs faster than the Experience section in your resume. Find more information on why referencing is important and get tips on how to get references for your dream job.

woman writing resume

Why Will Referencing Never Get Old?

Because we live in a world where opinions matter, for a typical recruiter, referencing is a practice allowing them to gain more data on your past experiences. Think of referencing as a background check. You can visit this site and write a flawless resume with outstanding Skills and Experience sections. However, most employers will consider an empty References section suspicious.

Why add a References section to your resume?

  • To show achievements. Got accolades from your last employer? Leave your supervisor’s contacts!
  • To fulfill the hiring requirements. Some recruiters will specifically ask you for a list of references to contact;
  • To impress the hiring manager. If you’ve worked for the top industry players, put them in the References list;
  • To add credibility. Obviously, a great review of your skills from other employers will let you shine brighter among other job seekers.

Teachers and Professors

If you’re fresh out of college or university, think of your teachers or professors to prove your qualification. This tip is especially helpful if you’ve cooperated with one of the professors on a college project. Or if your professor provided guidance and supervision when you worked on a project alone.

Why is the college staff a credible source to the recruiter?

  • Teachers and professors have seen your work on a project. They can provide the recruiter with information about your ability to follow deadlines or work under pressure;
  • Since the college staff has collaborated with you, they have insight on your personality. For instance, your love-and-hate relationship with teamwork.

Internship Supervisors

Still wondering ‘Who can I use as a reference for my first job?’ Start with your internship supervisors if adding professors sounds daunting. Being a part of an internship program means you’ve had a chance to apply your skills. An internship supervisor is a person who knows whether the hands-on experience went right or wrong.

Why is an internship supervisor a credible source to the recruiter?

  • They’ve submitted reports and evaluations of your job performance for a year or two;
  • They’ve monitored your work progress yet have statistics of your fails and successes;
  • They can tell the recruiter what to expect from you as a future employee.

Charity and Volunteering Organizations

These institutions might not tell the recruiter about your job-related technical skills. However, they’re a great source regarding your personal qualities, character, and values. For example, let’s say you’ve volunteered to spread awareness about global warming. If a company you’re applying for has strong environmental policies, they’ll see that your values align with the company’s ethics.

Why is adding volunteering organizations beneficial?

  • Volunteering showcases your qualities like teamwork, self-organization, and enthusiasm;
  • It also shows your leadership and aspiration for positive change.

Guidance Counselors

What to do if a high school diploma is your only academic degree? Or if you’re a young college student who hasn’t graduated yet? Think of a different kind of referencing: guidance counselors. Sure, they are a less obvious answer to the ‘who can I use as a reference for my first job’ question. Nonetheless, they’re also a great source for your skills, talents, and inclinations.

guidance counselor

Why will a hiring manager contact a guidance counselor?

  • Provided you attend the counseling sessions often, a guidance counselor gathers the data on your career aspirations and personal qualities;
  • A guidance counselor knows everything about your values and work ethics. Hence, a recruiter gets a chance to learn whether your work style matches the job position requirements. In the end, a guidance counselor might be surprisingly the least expected person to promote you as the best applicant for the job.

Who Can I Use As a Reference for My First Job: People to Avoid

Searching for a perfect reference will include such factors as credibility and the referrer’s ability to stay objective. That’s why there is a high chance a recruiter won’t call your friends and relatives even if you list them as references. All because your friends and relatives will show biases in their stories about you. Additionally, they haven’t seen your work and can offer no evidence of your professional growth.

Other individuals to avoid in your references are:

  • Classmates or college groupmates;
  • ‘Made-up’ connections who don’t exist;
  • People you haven’t worked long enough with.

Final Thoughts

When creating your References list, think of individuals who can prove you’re a young talent. Professors, internship supervisors, and guidance counselors are great references to showcase your skills and talents. Also, make volunteering organizations a part of your References list in the job application. We hope the article was helpful to you. Good luck!


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