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Professional references - I don't have any!!


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This has me so worried. I am applying for a job and the employer has already e-mailed me (I missed the first 2 e-mails, idiot!!) but in the application I don't have any professional references as this will be my first job. And I only have one personal reference and they need another, any advice? Who did you add for professional references starting out?

 

I am a horrible member of this community. I only ask questions, rarely respond. I'm sorry people. :(

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Do you have a teacher/professor in a class relevant (or not relevant) to the job? That's what I did before I had a professional reference.

Ask a couple of your teachers if they will give you a reference.

If you've ever worked any kind of job anywhere, call and ask if you can use them as a reference.

have you done any volunteering, scout work, PTA, HOA, arranging church functions/etc, yard sales, fundraising - anything? You could use one of them.

be honest in that you haven't worked so therefore have no "professional" references, but you've done this work with this person...

You're 16....I doubt you will be expected to have a professional reference.  I would reccomend using a teacher and a friend's parent that you know well.  What kind of job are you applying for?

Original Post by amethystgirl:

Do you have a teacher/professor in a class relevant (or not relevant) to the job? That's what I did before I had a professional reference.

 oh and this!

I am applying for admin assistant. I'm actually a bit surprised they responded, but maybe they saw I am in college already. The professor idea sounds like a good one, but I am quiet so my teachers don't know me that well. Will that be a big problem or do they just need to know I am capable? And yes I have done a little volunteering (humane shelter) but that was a few years ago. And no church functions, I'm agnostic. :P

Also I should probably e-mail them directly and let them know I'm using teacher refs. Or that I am interested in the job (eager, learn quickly etc.). Or something. I'm nervous.

Profs are used to getting requests to be references, or write rec letters, even if they've only had that student in a large lecture class.

If you are still in school, just go up after class and say "I'm applying for this job - would it be alright to list you as a reference?"

Original Post by amethystgirl:

Profs are used to getting requests to be references, or write rec letters, even if they've only had that student in a large lecture class.

If you are still in school, just go up after class and say "I'm applying for this job - would it be alright to list you as a reference?"

I will follow your wise words dutifully! Thank you.

I used to work in my college's and grad school's career centers. You're not the first to have this question :)

Once you've used someone as a reference, they usually won't mind you re-using them, but if it's a year or so later since I last asked them, I typically shoot my ref's an email, just in case they are contacted... I don't want the first words out of their mouth to be "Amethystgirl who?"

If you need someone to write a letter of recommendation, I think it's nice to arrange a time to sit down with them and discuss the job (or school/program) so that they can tailor the letter to suit you.

Thank you so much amethyst. :) Another quick question, since I have missed a couple of their e-mails and I don't have class until tomorrow morning, I want to let them know I am interested in the job and I received this e-mail. But what exactly should I say? I'm not quite sure how to word it, I just want some general ideas of what is appropriate.

The latest email was asking for the second reference, right?

If it had just been this one email, I'd say you could wait til tmrw morning, after class. But since they've emailed a few times (and it's after 5, so unless you know the prof is around this late (or has office hours now - in that case, run over to see them now - I'd assume s/he wouldn't get an email til tmrw).... maybe respond with something like:

Thank you so much for contacting me about this job. I'm still waiting to hear back from my second reference, and I will forward you their contact info by tomorrow.

Does that sound ok?

If you're going to ask a prof who doesn't know you very well, it helps to give them a copy of the resume you're using for the job - and definitely ask in person as many profs will recognize you by face even if they don't know you by name (particularly in a big class). 

The best thing to do is sit down with a copy of your resume and ask the professor if there is anything they need more detailed about your history.  It is wise to get a written reference with the professor's email and if possible their home address (but I wouldn't force the latter.)  This is so you may use the reference in the future.  I would not recommend getting the reference by email though.  It is usually preferred and DEFINITELY MORE PROFESSIONAL TO GET A "ORGINAL SIGNATURE" REFERENCE.

Also to show your professionalism, you need to send a thank you note handwritten expressing what your key qualifications are for the job they can use and how much you feel you can do for the company.  For example, be prompt and  detail oriented.

I hope this bit of information has been useful to you.

Good luck my dear. And God Bless.

My professors prefer a recommendation 'cheat sheet'
Basically, when asking for a reference, you give them a handy single sheet of paper stating what class you had with them (and when), your grade in the class (or current grade if you're still in it). And anything else pertinent. The type of job you're applying for, any accomplishments, awards, or clubs you're in, etc.

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